Summertime Socials

Bozeman summers are often a blur of hot, languid days fishing, floating, hiking, and biking in the long-awaited sunshine. But our warmer months also brim with other outdoor activities—music shows, theatrical performances, gallery walks, festivals, farmers’ markets, and more—that are every bit as emblematic of summer as an M hike. So what’s happening around town this season?

Spend Friday nights strolling the streets during Downtown Bozeman’s Gallery Walks, every second Friday of the month through September from 6-8pm. Wine, hors d’oeuvres, and mingling make this a pleasant way to kick off the weekend. Drive over the pass for the Downtown Livingston Gallery Walk as well, scheduled on the fourth Friday of each month, from 5:30-8:30pm.

There’s nothing like a little Shakespeare in the Park to stimulate the dreamy summer mind. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and enjoy theatrical performances under a canopy of conifers at the MSU Grove, east of the duck pond on 11th Ave. The first series begins at 8pm on June 23-26 with A Midsummer Night's Dream, followed on June 30-July 3 by Julius Caesar. Check out the full schedule at

Another hot ticket is the annual Museum of the Rockies Wine Classic, held July 10 on the museum grounds. Enjoy a delicious evening of fine wines, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts while listening to live music and partaking in silent and live auctions. Tickets are $150 for museum members and $175 for nonmembers. Contact the museum at 994-4974.

Summer has truly arrived when Lunch on the Lawn and Music on Main start up. Lunch on the Lawn at the Emerson provides free outdoor music and offers lunch from a variety of vendors from 11:30-1:30 every Wednesday, July 7 to August 25. On July 1 from 6:30-8:30 pm, Music on Main begins downtown and continues every Thursday until August 19, with Bozeman’s best local bands as well as excellent regional acts. Local food stands allow you to dance and munch simultaneously.

Farmers markets are another icon of summer in the Bozone. Starting Saturday, June 19, hit the Gallatin County Fairgrounds from 9-12 every Saturday until September 11. Across town at Bogert Park is the Bogert farmers market, held every Tuesday from 5-8pm, June 1 through September 21. Both markets have locally grown food and a host of arts & crafts.

For a more traditional Western event loaded with country flair, check out the annual Gallatin County Fair, which runs July 21 to 25. This year's theme is "wagon wheels to ferris wheels." Visit for more info.

Earlier in the season, head west and experience some rural roots at Three Forks’ Headwaters Country Jam, June 24-26. Big Kenny of Big & Rich kicks off the weekend, with additional performances by Eric Church, John Anderson, and Coldhard Cash. Charlie Daniels Band will rock the stage for a classic country culmination. Call 800-555-8989 for tickets.

Big Sky’s got plenty going on too. Every Thursday, check out Music in the Mountains (also free) plays July 15 to August 26. This year, the Arts Council of Big Sky brings a diverse spread of tunes to the Town Center with everything from The Infamous Stringdusters, a bluegrass band on July 15, to The Young Dubliners, a Celtic rock show on July 29, and even Afro-beats from the band Orgone on August 19. Additional shows are lined up for the impressive Big Sky Pavilion, and on Friday, September 3, Willie Nelson will headline at the beautiful Big Sky Community Park for a night to remember. Check out for more info.

As the dog days of summer approach, take a hiatus from your summer-body diet on August 4 for the Bite of Bozeman, a precursor to Bozeman's biggest outdoor festival of all: Sweet Pea. August 6-8 will see Lindley Park transformed into an art-booth heaven and an outdoor-concert paradise, with dancing on stage and in the grass until after dark.

Speaking of dancing, Rockin' the Rivers rages in Three Forks, August 13-15. Big names like Brett Michaels, Collective Soul, and the Doobie Brothers rock this rain-or-shine outdoor concert and campout. Tickets are available online at, or by calling 285-0099.