Flathead Valley celebrates Fourth of July in style

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  • Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake Bennett Dykstra, 7, right, and his brother Ethan Dykstra, 4, both of Kalispell, take in the view as they wait for the beginning of the parade on Saturday in Kalispell.

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    Allison Money/Daily Inter Lake Whitefish's annual Fourth of July fireworks display lights up the sky at dusk Saturday evening over Whitefish Lake.

  • Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake Bennett Dykstra, 7, right, and his brother Ethan Dykstra, 4, both of Kalispell, take in the view as they wait for the beginning of the parade on Saturday in Kalispell.

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    Allison Money/Daily Inter Lake Whitefish's annual Fourth of July fireworks display lights up the sky at dusk Saturday evening over Whitefish Lake.

The Flathead Valley will ring in the Fourth of July with a host of community events including parades, ice cream socials, boat parades, and of course, fireworks. Don your red, white and blue and head to one of the following events to celebrate American independence.

WHITEFISH

Whitefish Chamber of Commerce presents the annual July Fourth Fireworks display from Whitefish Lake. The event takes place shortly after dusk. A free shuttle compliments of Eagle Transit will head from the O’Shaughnessy Center to City Beach starting at 7 p.m. The last shuttle will leave from City Beach at 11 p.m. Call the Whitefish Chamber for more information at 862-3501.

Independence Day revelers will have something new to celebrate this year as Whitefish Marine and Powersports hosts the first-ever Fourth of July Boat Parade at 9 p.m. prior to the annual Fireworks Display at Whitefish City Beach.

Whitefish Marine is urging local boat owners, as well as visitors, to decorate their vessels (and passengers) in All-American style and then cruise the lake’s eastern shoreline. Parade participants will gather in the cove off Whitefish Lake State Park beginning at 8:30 p.m. to line-up, then begin the first of two loops along the eastern shoreline of Whitefish Lake. There’s no fee to take part.

To register, call Megan at 862-8594, email her at megan@whitefishmarine.com, or stop by the shop at 6191 U.S. Highway 93 South in Whitefish.

KALISPELL

Kalispell’s Fourth of July Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Main Street downtown, rain or shine. This year’s theme is “Funky Fourth.” After the parade, head over the Conrad Mansion Museum for an old-fashioned ice cream social. Free ice cream, live music, face painting, and self-guided, reduced-rate tours of the Museum will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until ice cream runs out). Self-guided tours will be $5 per person.

BIGFORK

The Fourth of July Parade in Bigfork will celebrate the PRCA Bigfork Summer Rodeo, July 6 and 7, with a “Western Stars and Stripes” theme. Music will be provided by the Flathead Valley Community Band, scheduled to begin playing in front of the Bigfork Inn at 11 a.m.

Following the parade, the Ducks for Bucks race gets underway on the Wild Mile of the Swan River. Proceeds from the event will pay for prizes and a scholarship for a deserving senior from Bigfork High School. For everyone to have a clear view of the parade, there will be no cars allowed in downtown Bigfork after 8 a.m. on the Fourth. Parking is available at the intersection of Montana 35 and Montana 82, with shuttles to downtown.

LAKESIDE

The Lakeside Fourth of July fireworks are launched from a barge off the shore of Lakeside. The show is anticipated to last just over 18 minutes and be choreographed to music. There will be 70 percent more shots than previous shows. Watch from the lakeshore or from your own seaworthy vessel offshore. For more details, call the Lakeside-Somers Chamber at 844-3715.

While enjoying your holiday lakeside, stop by the Somers/Lakeside Fire Department for its Independence Day barbecue from noon to 6 p.m. at the Lakeside Fire Department on Bills Road. Hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie dogs, chili, chips and ice cream will be served. There will also be a raffle and prizes. Fire prevention tips and the department’s future plans will also be shared.

POLSON

Polson’s parade begins at noon at Cherry Valley Elementary School and continues down Main Street. This year’s theme is “Montana Roots.” Enjoy free ice cream after the parade at the Polson-Flathead Historical Museum and half price admission to tour the museum. Fireworks will start at dusk at Riverside Recreation near the bridge.

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