The Bozeman community spirit is known to be a lively and interesting mix of all things related to art, music, food, physical pursuits, university culture & events, local beer & wine production, social events, the outdoors, and much more.
The summer months of July and August are typically when many of the year’s major festivals occur in the town, but you’ll find other community events throughout most of the year according to tradition.
In this article, we will take a look at the top events in Bozeman, Montana, so no matter what season you visit you will be able to join in the festivities.
Guide to the Top Events In Bozeman, Montana
Gallatin Valley Farmers Market – June-September
The Farmers Market is the biggest and most attended of a few similar markets around this time. The GVFM has become something of a fixture in more than 50 years of operation.
From mid-June, the event runs Saturdays between 9 am and 12 pm until mid-September in the Haynes Pavilion at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds.
This is the time for residents and visitors alike to come and sample some of the best locally-produced goods including homemade food and hand-made arts and crafts.
Newly grown and freshly-made goodies dominate the lively and social atmosphere of this long-standing community event in Bozeman
Downtown Art Walks – June-September
The Bozeman Art Walk is a free public event sponsored by the Downtown Bozeman Association, and various art galleries and organizations within the downtown region and Main Street area.
This is an annual Bozeman event with businesses and local galleries alike highlighting artists’ openings and receptions, and the Art Walks typically occur from 6 pm to 8 pm on the second Friday of the month.
The walks start in June and continue through September, with an additional December Winter Art Walk thrown in for good measure.
Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments are made available and live musical performances from young local artists, ensembles and bands will play at the various locations featured in the walk.
Downtown Bozeman is the location for this annual taking to the sidewalks of a couple of hundred merchants selling all kinds of bargains.
Typically held on July 16-18, here’s your chance to hit the Bozeman sidewalk and check out the spring and summer merchandise deals.
Big Sky Country State Fair – July
Come summer around the time of 20-24, another of the Bozeman ‘biggie’ festivals hits town by way of the Country State Fair. The location is the Gallatin County Fairgrounds in Bozeman, which means the state fair is in town.
It’s that time again for locals and visitors alike to go searching for their favorite fair delicacies, enjoy the delights of an old-fashioned carnival, and catch some incredible performances. There’s always plenty of live music to go around as well as the food trucks and other entertainment.
This means of course there must be a rodeo in town to guarantee that authentic Montana touch. The highlight of the event is the Roundup Ranch Rodeo, which also features livestock shows and workshops, along with a few other animal-related activities
Music on Main – July-August
This community favorite occurs every Thursday evening throughout the summer months. The location is Main Street as you might guess, usually along the stretch between Rouse Avenue and Black Avenue.
Basically, a free live event featuring music, food vendors, kids’ activities, and plenty of summer fun! The fun usually begins towards the end of July, with the 22nd being the date this year. The music kicks off around 6.30 pm and until 8.30 pm
Sweet Pea Festival – August
Sweet Pea is another Bozeman staple, and this annual 3-day festival kicks off on Friday, usually on the first or second weekend of the month. This year a performance by Montana Shakespeare in the Parks got the event off to a dramatic start.
Saturday at Lindley Park typically features kids’ activities like a fun run and a parade. Along with the theater dramatics, attendees can expect music, dance troupes, and various workshops as part of the entertainment.
On top of that, there’ll be a beer and wine garden, and arts and crafts vendors, and if you happen to be in the area for a while there are usually a few smaller events a week or so prior to the festival like art shows and parades.
The highlights serve as warm-ups and lead-ins for the main event.
Summer Slam Festival – August
Summer SLAM Festival happens in Bogert Park around the same time as Sweet Pea, typically around August 5, 6, or 7.
This is a summer event that caters to everyone, with attractions such as an artists’ market including live demonstrations, a culinary delights food court, a libations garden, live music, a silent auction, and plenty of family activities.
So this is a family-friendly event all about Montana artists, whether they be fine arts craftsmen or band members. Summer Slam is easily-paired with the Sweet Pea Festival to ensure a full weekend of local arts and fun for those with the stamina.
Bridger Raptor Festival – October
The festival is related to the thousands of migrating raptors appearing along the Bridger Range every year. Typically occurring in early October, this annual area event is centered around one of the largest known Golden Eagle migrations in the country.
A raptor migration count has taken place each fall at Bridger Bowl for the last 3 decades or so.
Bridger Bowl Ski Area is the place to head if you are interested in finding out more about the migration habits and journey involved for the raptors.
The event usually kicks off on Friday evening with an opening ceremony then there are activities all weekend long in and around the Saddle Peak Lodge.
MSU Downtown Homecoming Pep Rally – October
The MSU maintains a presence throughout the Bozeman annual events calendar and the homecoming activities attract lots of attention. The event starts off with the annual lighting of the M on the Bridger Foothill Trail between 7 and 8 pm.
Aside from the opening ceremony the other two most engaging events for the whole community occur on Friday and Saturday.
This starts with the pep rally on Main Street in Downtown Bozeman which features a proper parade between 6 pm to 7 pm. The actual Homecoming Parade takes place Saturday morning between 10 am and 11 am and features floats, music, food, and much more.
Parade of Trees – November
The Peak Ski Company plays host to this annual ‘Parade of Trees’, in which 20 specially-selected Montana living conifers are decorated by various concerns within the community. On Saturdays between November 25th and December 10th, this two-week event runs from 11 am to 11 pm.
Peak organizes festive holiday activities and attendees get to vote for their favorite trees, all of which get auctioned off to families and businesses after the event, and any proceeds go to the Bridger Ski Foundation.
Here’s your chance to get into the holiday spirit to a backdrop of Christmas Carols, Santa Claus, holiday movies, and lots more!
Christmas Stroll – December
Saturday, Dec 3 marks the date for this year’s festive stroll between 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm. This is a free event that anyone can join and participants can expect plenty of food, drink, and a lively holiday atmosphere.
Winter Art Walk – December
This is a follow-on event to the previously-organized walks throughout the year and organized by the Downtown Bozeman Association.
The event sees various participating local art galleries and businesses featuring artists’ openings and receptions, and December is the month.
This year the walk is on the 9th, between 6.00 pm and 8.00 pm. Many galleries are featured along the walk and many make available various hors d’oeuvres and other complimentary refreshments on this great opportunity for a stroll in Downtown Bozeman while taking in some of the local art and culture.