Summer Socials

Summertime and the livin's easy.

Summer’s back—and as usual, there are more activities and events than hours in the day. With so much going on, you’ll need to plan ahead and choose carefully. Here’s an insider’s look at the best of the best.

Starting in June and running through September, celebrate summer at one of the many area farmers’ markets. Stock up on local produce, fresh-made food, arts and crafts, and more. Some even feature live music. In Bozeman, the Bogert market happens every Tuesday night; on Saturday mornings, head across town to the Fairgrounds for the Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market. In Livingston, hit Miles Bandshell Park on Wednesday nights. Other surrounding towns (e.g., Ennis) have their own farmers’ markets, so keep an eye out during weekend road trips. Google any of the aforementioned markets for more info.

Arts & Culture
Stroll downtown with friends and family, sampling wine and hors d’oeuvres while admiring the work of local artists at area art walks. Bozeman’s walks begin June 8, running every other Friday through September 14. From 6-8pm, visit featured art gallery openings and boogie to live jazz and rock from local musicians along the street. It’s free and happens rain or shine; visit for more info. Livingston, Big Sky, and Willow Creek also offer art walks throughout the summer season.

If it’s theater you’re after, catch an unforgettable show at Shakespeare in the Parks. This year’s productions are Hamlet and Twelfth Night; both premiere at the MSU Grove in June before touring around the state (check out for a full schedule). In August, the Sweet Pea Festival promises to live up to its reputation as Bozeman’s signature summer art and music celebration. Attend one of the main events, like the Sweet Pea Ball or Bite of Bozeman, or chow down at eclectic food vendors, get crafty at art booths, and laugh it up at a live comedy show. 2012 marks the 35th anniversary of this iconic Bozeman event, and with special activities and performances, this is one year you won’t want to miss.

Big Sky and Ennis also have local arts festivals, in June and August, respectively, where you can watch artist demonstrations and juried art shows. Visit and for information and full schedules.

The Bozeman locals’ favorite, Music on Main, runs Thursdays, late June through mid-August. In addition to great bands up on stage, local food vendors set up along the streets and downtown stores stay open late. It’s free and open to everyone—just remember to leave your pooch at home. See the lineup at Big Sky’s version, Music in the Mountains, starts in July with 15 free concerts at the Center Stage in Town Center Park, at various dates throughout the summer. The acts feature nationally touring artists, and more bands are expected to join the already-stellar lineup. See them all at

Road Trips
Feel like gettin’ the heck outta Dodge? Get in your car and head to the Red Ants Pants Festival in July in White Sulphur Springs. Dance your pants off to headliner Emmylou Harris and local favorites Little Jane & the Pistol Whips. Camp with concertgoers in designated areas, and mingle with locals at the signature street dance in downtown White Sulphur. More info at

And if you’re feeling adventurous, drive down to Grand Targhee for one of their festivals: the 8th Annual Targhee Fest in July, with headliners Lucinda Williams and Toots and the Maytals, or the 25th Annual Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival in August. Headliners at the famous bluegrass bonanza include the Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, and David Grisman, among other great acts. Both festivals usually see from 2,000 to 3,000 people every day, but there’s still lots of open space. And make sure to get your commemorative Targhee Bluegrass mug for discounted beer throughout the festival. Check out more at