Located at The Bridge near Three Forks (if you don’t know what we’re talking about, you’ll just have to head to the festival grounds to see the unusual backdrop), Rockin’ the Rivers really is rockin’. The lineup keeps things pumping well into the night, and you’ll love the headliners this year—everyone from Cheap Trick to Dead Fervor will be coming out to play. But there’s more to an event than just the music. Here’s the rundown of everything you need to know about the festival and how to prepare.
Small-town charm runs rampant at the Manhattan Potato Festival. Manhattan has been around since the mid-1800s and is a town that has been home to a diverse range of ranchers and farmers. An earthquake in 1925 destroyed many of the town’s original buildings, so the main drag has a distinct 1920s feel. Old US 10 passes right through Main Street, and there’s a whole lot of quaintness to check out. Immigrants from the Netherlands arrived in the Gallatin Valley in the 1800s, ready to grow barley for nearby malters, and the agricultural industry grew from there.
Held the third weekend in July, Bannack Days celebrates the history of this local ghost town, a testament to days gone by and the frontier past that is still alive in the region. The town was founded in 1862 when John White struck gold (well, panned it) in Grasshopper Creek. Prospectors made a rush to Bannack, hoping to strike it rich too, and with them came enterprising businessmen of the age ready to profit off of the influx of people. The town began to grow.
In mid-July, nearly a dozen of Montana’s best breweries come to party in Virginia City for the Dog and Grog Microbrew Festival. Not only can you experience this historic ghost town, preserved for you to explore, but you’ll find fun activities to enjoy between pints of local tasty beverages during the festival. Right next to the Bale of Hay Saloon, you’ll find the tent where the beer magic happens, where you can drink your way through some of the best craft breweries in Montana while you relax under the big top.
If local music ranging from folksy to bluegrass, jazz, blues, gospel and beyond is your scene, you’ll want to mark Music Days at the Caverns in your calendar. Just down the road from Three Forks at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, you’ll find a music festival that takes local entertainment to a new level.
June in Gallatin county is like the mecca of good times to be had. The patios are open, Music on Main has started up, the Farmer's Market is in full swing, the Art Walk kicks off, and the list goes on. At the top of ours sits the much anticipated Headwaters Country Jam--a three day, rip-roaring outdoor festival in the heart of the valley.
As the county seat of Madison County, Montana, Virginia City keeps the history of the Victorian Era alive. After booming in the late 1800s with the advent of a gold rush, the town practically froze in time once the gold ran out. Today, it’s vibrant display of living history with a thriving community of reenactors and local historians. Roam the town, check out the shops, and still make it back to Three Forks in time for a nightcap before bed. Here’s what you should add to the agenda when you take a day trip to Virginia City.