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Eureka Rendezvous Days, Montana

On the last weekend of April each year, Eureka in Lincoln County plays host to the region’s biggest festival: Eureka Rendezvous Days. A celebration of local talent, music, cars, and community spirit, the family-friendly event draws in crowds from all over the continent and is totally free to enter.

Rendezvous Days originally began as a meeting of mountain men, fur trading companies, and Native Americans, which was held at the end of winter trapping season. It was an opportunity to celebrate the end of winter and trade, conduct other business transactions, and have some fun.

The historical event that marked the end of winter turned into Rendezvous Days in the 1970s when three friends, Doc. Andy Ivy, Jerry Sythe, and Bill Larson decided to bring back the tradition of celebrating the coming of spring.

Each year, the festivities grew bigger and bigger until they transformed into the revelry the town enjoys today.

The weekend launches Friday night with a dinner and concert of rockin’ blues and country music at 6:00 p.m. before three days of Black Powder Shooting and the living history Mountain Man Camp re-enactment.

Food vendors offer dishes from all over the world, from local Montana fare to foreign specialties. 

eureka rendezvous days

Saturday starts with breakfast at the Senior Center. Soon after, the parade begins at noon along Main Street, which features bagpipes, floats, costumes, antique cars, and beer trucks.

Following the parade, there are two arts and crafts shows, a quilt show, a car show, mud bogging, sand dragging, and several competitions. Locals compete in fun games like arm wrestling, baseball, bed races, and keg tossing, plus a range of kids’ games and events.

Most of the events take place in downtown Eureka or at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. Other activities and shows, including the Black Powder Shoot and Mountain Man Camp, are located slightly out of town but the directions are clearly indicated with signs.

Eureka Rendezvous Days Event Details

Eureka Rendezvous Days Facilities

facilities
Image: USDARD LAPAS

There’s a lot going on during Rendezvous Days, so the Tobacco Valley News provides program books that are available throughout the town and guide attendees to the various shows and events.

Dinner on Friday night and breakfast on Saturday morning are two of the culinary traditions that take place during the festival, but there are also food vendors operating around town from the beginning of the event to the end. Attendees can get a wide variety of foods, from hot meals to snacks.

Many of the food vendors run their stalls in the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. Although Rendezvous Days is a family-friendly event, the fairgrounds are not typically an alcohol-free zone, and alcoholic beverages are available.

There are public restrooms available around downtown Eureka, including at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. Paid parking is usually available at the fairgrounds and parking assistants may be on hand to direct traffic and guide guests to car parks.

Some of the events, particularly those held outdoors, may be pet friendly.

Attendees can pick up handmade souvenirs and memorabilia from the arts and crafts shows. Additionally, there are multiple gift stores along Main Street, so out-of-town visitors may be able to purchase souvenirs from brick-and-mortar stores before or after the Saturday parade.

Visitors from out of town can usually stay at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds, paying $15 per day for a space with electricity and $10 a day for a space without electricity. Note that the festival isn’t always held at the fairgrounds, and camping may not be available at other venues.

Regardless of where Rendezvous Days are held, there are several camping and RV sites in and around Eureka that guests can stay at. Some of the most popular local camp and RV sites include:

$ – Rexford Bench – Rexford
$$ – Silverado Motel – Eureka
$$ – Blue Mountains RV Park – Eureka
$$ – Jerry’s RV Park – Fortine

For more details about the facilities available at Rendezvous Days, please contact the Eureka Chamber of Commerce.

Accommodation

Staying in Eureka will give travelers the best chance to immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere of Rendezvous Days. However, there are a few other nearby towns that also offer accommodation, either in the form of campgrounds or hotels and motels.

Other than Eureka, guests might like to base themselves in other Lincoln County towns, including Libby, which is the county seat, and Rexford, which is home to less than 100 people.

Some of the most popular accommodation options in and around Eureka include:

$ – Country Inn Libby – Libby
$ – Ksanka Motor Inn – Eureka
$$ – Venture Inn – Libby
$$ – EDA Ranch Cabin – Eureka
$$ – The Montana Cabin – Rexford
$$ – Whitetail Lodge – Eureka
$$$ – RiverStone Family Lodge – Eureka
$$$ – Wilderness Club – Eureka
$$$ – Evergreen Motel – Libby

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