Ennis & Beyond

Ennis & Beyond

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Kira Stoops

Montana summers are beautiful, but what if you need to break that been-there-done-that bad mood you've been in lately? During your road trip to Ennis, discover some new cool things to do this summer.

Fourth of July Parade & Rodeo
If the primaries have got you down, this weekend will assure you it's all going to be okay. Right out of a Norman Rockwell picture, Ennis's Fourth of July parade is the quintessential American celebration right down Main Street, complete with clowns, horses, old cars, ice cream, old-fashioned floats, and the occasional splash from the caravanning fire trucks. Get there by 9am to get a good spot, and bring chairs so you can bake in comfort. Be sure to pick up a pie and some brats over at Restvedt Meats on your way back to the car. The two-day, NRA-sanctioned rodeo features top cowboys and cowgirls from the northwest in both rough-stock and timed events. Visit ennischamber.com for more information.

Madison River Marathon
Come join the Ennis area’s annual marathon. Team relay, 60 and over, 12 and under, half marathon, full marathon: you choose. The full marathon begins at Lions Park, trots along the river to Varney Bridge outside Ennis, then back into town. The half marathon runs from the bridge into Ennis. So everyone can join in, the 60 and over / 12 and under racers do half the marathon on bike, the other half on foot. After triumphantly crossing the finish, wind down with a buffet lunch or buy a t-shirt to celebrate.

Fly Fishing Festival
Labor Day weekend offers up the annual Ennis Fly Fishing Festival. Try saying that three times fast. This year they have tons of exciting stuff lined up: clinics, casting instruction, and competitions for all levels, and a BBQ on Saturday night around 6pm with live music. Check out madisonriverfoundation.org for more info or call 406-682-3148.

The Art of Walking
Ennis art walks are a great way to add a little culture to a day spent outdoors. They feature local talents on Friday evenings, and you can even hit up Norris Hot Springs on your way home.

Tastes Great, Less Filling
Just a quick hop over the hill, historic Virginia City comes alive in May when the Brewery Follies Comedy Cabaret opens at the old H. S. Gilbert Brewery. This is the kind of folding-chair improv that emerges from a remote western town where cell phones don’t work: raunchy, ad lib, and overflowing with beer. No political view or contemporary topic is safe from a bawdy musical parody or an improv-skit ridicule. For show times and reservations (which are strongly recommended) call 800-829-2969 ext. 3. Tickets are $15, but save some money for a babysitter for the night, too. This gig's not for kids.

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