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What’s happening, Lake County?

by Lake County Leader
| April 22, 2021 12:35 AM

Is Lake County ready to resume its packed calendar of spring and summer events this year?

Well, yes and no.

The Lake County Fair and Pioneer Days in Ronan are a go, as are the Cherry Festival and the Cruisin’ by the Bay Car Show in Polson. Rodeo returns to the Polson Fairgrounds this summer, too. And St. Ignatius is preparing to hold its Good Old Days Celebration and Fireman’s Picnic.

A few events aren’t returning just yet, however, and several remain in limbo. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes continue to take a cautious approach to the COVID-19 pandemic and have not committed to resuming any tribe-related events, including, most notably, the Fourth of July powwow and rodeo in Arlee.

Update: Arlee, Elmo powwow celebrations cancelled for 2021

Much like local high school sports schedules, the summer events calendar remains fluid. Things are certain to change over time, but here’s what the schedule of events looks like for now:

May 30 or 31: The American Legion is preparing to put on its traditional Memorial Day parade in downtown Polson. Organizers have yet to decide whether it will take place Sunday, May 30 or Monday, May 31. After the parade there will be a ceremony, including a color guard, at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson.

June 17-20: Dust off the earplugs. The Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous returns to the Lake County Fairgrounds in Ronan. The event was first held in 2019, and round 2 is set for this summer. Watch chainsaw artists as they sculpt wooden creations.

The Ronan Area Chamber has tentative plans for another Crab Fest, last held in June 2019, though no dates have been set.

June 25-26: The Mission Mountain Rodeo returns to the Polson Fairgrounds. Details are still being worked out for that event, though we know the Cowboy Ball will not be held this year.

July 2-4: The Polson Splash Classic fastpitch youth softball tournament is back. Registration is available at tourneymachine.com. Team rosters and insurance need to be turned in no later than June 25.

July 4: We’re expecting to see Fourth of July parades in Polson, Ronan, Charlo and St. Ignatius. The fate of Arlee’s big weekend — rodeo, powwow, etc. — remains unclear for now. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear.

July 10: The Mission Valley Auction, featuring quilts, tools, furniture and more, returns to St. Ignatius. The auction begins at 9 a.m. at 31827 Allison Road and commissions benefit the Mission Valley Amish Christian School. Contact Jason Miller at 406-214-4885 for more information.

July 17-18: The Miracle of America Museum will host Live History Days featuring music, blacksmithing, flint knapper, sawmill, schoolhouse activities and rides in a variety of military vehicles. Visit miracleofamericamuseum.org to learn more.

July 17-25: The Lake County Fair returns to the fairgrounds in Ronan in late July. Few details other than that have been released so far.

July 24-25: The 28th annual Flathead Lake 3 on 3 basketball tournament is tentatively scheduled for this weekend on the streets of downtown Polson. Check www.theflatheadlake3on3.com for updates.

July 24-25: The Flathead Lake Festival of Art 2021, featuring quality fine art and fine craft from Montana and the Northwest, will take place again at Sacajawea Park in Polson. Visit www.sandpiperartgallery.com for details.

July 30-Aug. 1: Ronan Pioneer Days are back. Past versions have included a mini petting zoo, dummy roping, stick pony racing, lawnmower races, farmer olympics, and sheep riding and sheep dressing. Follow the event’s Facebook page for updates on this year’s event.

July 31-Aug. 1: The 22nd annual Flathead Cherry Festival is set to take place on Main Street in Polson. Organizers have moved the event to later in the summer to celebrate the cherries that are ready to harvest in late July. The two-day event has been recognized among the top five must-see tourism attractions in the state.

Aug. 14: The 50th annual Sandpiper Art Festival is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Lake County Courthouse lawn in downtown Polson. The event is an opportunity for local artists to sell their work and gain exposure. Visit www.sandpiperartgallery.com for details on how to apply.

Aug. 14: The Cruisin’ by the Bay Car Show is a go for downtown Polson. The event is tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Other details are still being worked out.

Aug. 26-28: The Flathead River Rodeo returns to the Polson Fairgrounds. The event was named the Indian National Finals Rodeo Tour’s rodeo of the year in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Champions of the rodeo featuring top competitors from across the United States and Canada will advance directly to the 2021 Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas on Oct. 19-23.

It’s unclear whether the Chamber Blast Sporting Clays event, held in June in the past, will take place this summer at Big Sky Sporting Clays on Irvine Flats Road west of Polson. Follow Big Sky Sporting Clays on Facebook or contact the Polson Chamber of Commerce for more information.

We also have yet to confirm the Mud Run hosted by the Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County and typically held in July.

The Ksanka Standing Arrow Powwow at the Elmo Powwow Grounds has not yet been announced. The event was last held in late July of 2019.

Update: Arlee, Elmo powwow celebrations cancelled for 2021

No plans for a Flathead Lake Blues Festival, generally held in mid-August, have been announced.

We’re still waiting to hear if Riverside Rec will host a Cornhole tournament again this year. The event debuted in late August of 2019 with a prize of $1,000 for the tournament winner.

Also, no word yet on the annual Peace Festival at the Garden of 1,000 Buddhas in Arlee. It was last held in early September of 2019.

Do you have information you’d like to share regarding these or other upcoming Lake County community events? If so, please contact editor Scot Heisel at editor@leaderadvertiser.com.

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The Mission Mountain Rodeo returns to the Polson Fairgrounds on June 25-26.(Lake County Leader file photo)

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The 28th annual Flathead Lake 3 on 3 basketball tournament is tentatively scheduled for July 24-25 on the streets of downtown Polson.(Lake County Leader file photo)

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The Mission Mountain Rodeo returns to the Polson Fairgrounds on June 25-26.(Lake County Leader file photo)