Approximately 60 miles south by southwest of Bozeman, in the heart of the Madison Valley, lies the agreeable little town of Ennis. Originally a place of annual pilgrimage for the Shoshone, Flathead, and Bannack Indians, Ennis remains to this day a place frequented by seasonal visitors. During America’s westward expansion, a homestead site founded in 1863 by William Ennis eventually became a town—due in no small part to the rich grazing land, quality water, and proximity to the gold fields of Virginia City and Alder Gulch. Providing a valuable rest stop for hungry stock and weary travelers, Ennis has thrived long after the gold claims ran out.
With a little over 1,000 people calling Ennis a permanent home (and adding in the seasonal influx of visiting pilgrims), Ennis can seem like a much larger, more bustling city in the summertime. It plays host to a stunning variety of seasonal events—paramount among these is the annual 4th of July rodeo. Drawing on its deep Western history, Ennis has proven to be an ideal spot to hold two days of NRA-sanctioned rough stock and timed events. The rodeo is rounded out by a traditional Independence Day parade, street dance, and barbeque. The parade begins at 10:00am on the morning of the 4th and is the hub for events and happenings too numerous to mention.
Known the world over for the quality of trout fishing in the Madison River and the abundance of big game in the surrounding mountain ranges, Ennis is a hub of civilization in a sporting paradise. Now in its 17th year, the annual Hunters Rendezvous takes place August 18 this year. Sponsored by the local outdoor shop Shedhorn Sports, this two-day event highlights the release of new products and is attended by a staggering 50-plus factory reps from numerous sporting companies. The Rendezvous is a perfect opportunity to mingle with firearms, optics, and other industry professionals.
For visitors, Ennis has something to fit every taste; for locals, the town provides a place to grab a burger and a beer, visit with neighbors, and a spot to call home. This summer, make Ennis a destination—you might find yourself hard-pressed to leave.
For more info and additional summertime events, visit ennischamber.com.