August is the month I moved to Bozeman. I’d visited in July in sweltering heat to attend orientation at MSU. My assigned dorm room was near the top floor of North Hedges and I spent two uncomfortable nights melting in the unfamiliar surroundings. The swelter was short-lived. By October, I’d given up on my Birkenstocks as 24-7-365 footwear for something more practical for Bozeman. My first Halloween in Bozeman was the real initiation into what life here would be like. Two-and-a-half feet of snow fell that Halloween, about 34” more than I’d ever needed to deal with on a school day in Missoula. I was unprepared, to say the least. I called home to get permission to go shopping; with my parents’ credit card number written on a piece of paper, I made my way to Bob Wards on West Main Street, and found a pair of Sorel boots, a Columbia pullover coat, and a fuzzy winter hat.
I only spent two sentences on summer, because, well, summer is fleeting in Bozeman. I personally loved the wet June we just had, continuing into July with a few rainy days and afternoon thunderstorms, just like in the good old days. Inevitably, smoke rolled in just as it was time to buckle down and write, making me wonder if summer is really that close to being over.
Of course, you can’t quit on summer yet. August is festival month in Bozeman. For the past 45 years, the Sweet Pea Festival has brought interesting art, music, theatre, dance, kids’ activities, and tater pigs to Lindley Park the first weekend of the month. You may even have picked up this copy of Bozeman Magazine because you are visiting Bozeman for this event! Music is a big part of the festival; this year, the Bozeman Symphony will be performing on Friday; Matt Wallin & His Nervous Breakdown, Black Joe Lewis, and Railroad Earth all play on Saturday; Sunday features STiLGONE and Houndmouth.
The newer SLAM Festival (Support Local Artists & Musicians) takes place the same weekend in Bogert Park, and is completely FREE to all visitors. The event features art vendors and demonstrations, a beer garden, a food court, family activities and, of course, more music—all local talent, playing everything from folk to rock.
Another not-to-miss August event is the Bozeman Art Museum’s Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Yellowstone National Park exhibit, which closes Saturday, August 6th at 5 pm. BAM is open 11 am - 5 pm Tuesday-Saturday; admission is free, though donations are welcome.
No Bozeman adventure is complete without a trip to the Museum of the Rockies. The current main hall exhibit is Apsáalooke Women and Warriors, which displays the bravery and creativity of the Apsáalooke people of the Northern Plains. Kids of all ages love Explore Yellowstone at the MOR, as well as the Dinosaur Complex. The Living History Farm at the museum is open through Labor Day, and is always free to visit.
Our calendar of events (found at the back of the magazine, and at bozemanmagazine.com) lists hundreds of additional local events for you to enjoy. It’s full-blown summer in Bozeman this August—soak it up, and have a great month!