There are some events in Montana that never fail to satisfy the need for adventure. While we all may have some events already planned, the true Montana gems are the events located off the beaten path. These events lead you to the heart and soul of Montana, and are always well worth the extra drive time on Montana’s back roads. With summer just around the corner, most of our calendars are filling up like college frat boys at the China Buffet. So take a three-day weekend, pack the car with a few rowdy friends, and make sure you hit these lesser known parties this summer.
Reed Point Boat Float: Yellowstone River (Livingston, Big Timber, Reed Point, Columbus MT) July 10-13
The annual boat float is a three-day float with two overnight stops where hundreds of great people hop on their tubes, rafts, and anything else that floats and let the river take their worries away for a few days. With beach parties, partying like Lewis and Clark, and a killer street dance in Reed Point this event is a sunny, sandy, sometimes sun burnt path to the best days of your summer.
Pony Duck Races: Pony, MT May 24th
While attendance to this event and most of the others on this list is growing every year, it is still very much an event for the locals. Whether your first time or not, the people you will find in this one horse town are sure to leave you with a cornucopia of memories. For roughly ten bucks you can buy a beer, a plate full of amazing home cooked barbecue, and a little rubber duck with a number on it. Put your duck in the creek and if you are lucky enough to have your duck beat the rest to the finish line, you will be handsomely rewarded. After the races the beer flows all night long, centered around the legendary Pony Bar with live music.
Miles City Bucking Horse Sale: Miles City,MT May 15-18
The 64th annual Bucking Horse Sale will be taking place this summer in Miles City, and while horses may not be your thing, if you like good people, music, and atmosphere don’t miss this event. You may be up to your knees in mud and beer by the end of the night but it is all in the experience of this full-blown party. During the day you can find yourself watching about every cowboy event under the sun, including some of the most outrageous such as the wild horse race and sheep shaving.
Darby Logger Days: Darby,MT July 18-19
Located right in the heart of the Bitteroot Valley just follow that smell of fresh-cut timber and you will find yourself in one of the more impressive events of the summer. The Ma and Pa race is something you will not want to miss(Google it) as well as the self-explanatory boxing over water competitions. Like all great events live music plays all night long and other than a little sawdust in your beer this event is the cat’s meow.
Augusta Rodeo: Augusta,MT June 29th
Bulls and blood, dust and mud, this is the rodeo to go to this summer. If given the chance to go to any rodeo in Montana this summer I wouldn’t pass it up anymore than I would a free chalupa on Cinco de Mayo. If you are going to pick one though, Augusta is the one to choose, what has been named as the Tourist Event of the Year, this event truly lets you immerses you in the experiences of small town Montana.
Bonus: Paul Bunyan Days: St. Maries,ID August 29-September 1
A carnival, firework show, and the worlds largest topless bar (not exactly what you think) come together in this small logger town in northern Idaho to create a must have labor day weekend adventure. Just a quick drive over the border and a few more twists and turns you will find yourself in St. Maries, Idaho which while not in Montana, is still full of the small town atmosphere that makes for a great party.