Annual Events


Mark your calendars for our list of Missoula's annual events. For a full list of events happening in and around Missoula, visit our events calendar.

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival showcases the best in documentary films from around the world. The festival attracts more than 10,000 people and screens more than 100 films during the week long event. All films are shown on Montana's largest movie screen at the Historic Wilma Theatre in downtown Missoula. Filmmakers from around the world will be in attendance to address audiences after their films screen. The festival usually takes place in early February and tickets and passes are sold at the Wilma Box Office.

Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival

The Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival is a non-competitive, educational event. High school and college jazz bands perform every 30 minutes throughout the festival and receive written comments from the guest clinicians. Immediately following its performance, each band will have an opportunity to work for 30 minutes with one of the clinicians in another location. This event is held each year in April at the University Theatre.

Home and Garden Show

Offering a variety of exhibitors sharing ideas on home and garden, home improvement, home decorating, health & wellness, kids and pets. Held annually at the Adams Event Center in March.

International Wildlife Film Festival

The International Wildlife Film Festival was the first wildlife film festival in the world, and is now the longest running film festival attracting over 10,000 people from around the world each year. The Festival kicks off in may with a Wildfest and Wildwalk parade in Downtown Missoula and Caras Park. The unforgettable days of award winning wildlife films at the Wilma Theatre, and filmmaker presentations and other events held at the Roxy Theatre.

YMCA Riverbank Run

From its humble beginnings with less than 300 participants to its current stature as the largest foot race in Missoula, this flat, fast 1-Mile, 5K or 10K course will knock your socks off. Ranked top in Runner's world magazine,this annual race takes place in April lighting up Missoula with runners of all ages.

Kyi-Yo Pow Wow

The Kyi-Yo Pow Wow is one of the oldest and largest student-sponsored powwows in the nation. The Pow Wow takes place in April at the University of Montana's Adam Center. Activities and events include a drum contest, dance specials, Jordan Carlson Memorial Scholastic Bowl, Indian Youth Conference, Tipi Race, 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, and other traditional youth games.


Since 1977, the Maggots have hosted a festival-style rugby tournament, held the first weekend of May. Maggotfest features 36 teams (28 men's and 8 women's sides) from throughout the US and Canada, with an occasional team from other exotic places. The emphasis at Maggotfest is on both the competition of the sport and on the fun aspects of rugby, held at Fort Missoula.

Garden City Brewfest

The Garden City Brewfest is held annually in May and produced by the Missoula Downtown Association. This vibrant event takes place in downtown Missoula's Caras Park. Admission is free, but purchase of tokens allow you to sample the beverages. Soda, water and a variety of food choices are also available for purchase. Local food vendors and live music accompany this popular event.

Garden City River Rod Run

The Annual River Rod Run features hot rod cars and thousands of spectators in Downtown Missoula for the two-day event. Admission to the event is free to spectators, participants can register cars in the show and parade. A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase from a range of vendors.

Fourth of July Celebration at the Fort Missoula

Model trains, ham radios, fire trucks, children's games, pony rides, food, crafts, and special displays; Homesteading Fun - step back in time with the newly restored 1900 Potomac Valley homestead cabin, with games, fiddlers, and hands-on opportunities; Tour the lookout, schoolhouse and locomotive; Demonstrations of the historic sawmill, antique engines, telegraph, historical surveying, and a visit to medieval times with the Society for Creative Anachronism; Books by the Inch used book sale; and of course plenty of Music and Entertainment, with special appearances by re-enactors. Held each year on the 4th of July the event at the Fort Museum of Missoula is a great way to celebrate Independence day with family.

International Choral Festival

A triennial festival, Missoula's International Choral Festival has brought outstanding choirs together since its first festival in 1987. A non-competitive showcase, only the best of the best are invited. Once they arrive, they perform to enthusiastic audiences who can't seem to get enough of their music. Not only did the choirs reach out to the audiences, but they also reached out to each other at Missoula's Festival, now known throughout the choral world. Music and friendships crossed continents and boundaries, helping the Festival to once again "bring the world a little closer." The festival performs in July at Caras Park, Bonner Park, various downtown venues, and a finale concert at the Washington Grizzly Stadium.

Every three years, next festival: 2019

Missoula Marathon

The Missoula Marathon is the annual event in July that draws in runners from across the world. Runners take the trail that was the same course Lake Missoula took when it erupted and carved its path through the rock towards the ocean. In addition to the traditional 26.2 mile marathon, there is a half-marathon and a kid's marathon.



A festival by kids, about kids and for kids and their families. Stage acts carnival booths, interactive games, displays, music and more. A community event attracting over 2,000 people to Caras Park. Food, dancing live performances, carnival games, juggling, art displays, dunk tank and more! No admission fee, held annually in August.

Western Montana Fair and Rodeo

Celebrate the summer at Missoula's fair and rodeo held annually in August. Featuring 4-H exhibits, art exhibits, cooking, 4-H livestock sale, a demolition derby, free stage acts, commercial displays, a country-western concert, and a Christian concert.

River City Roots Festival

River City Roots Festival is the area's largest arts and music festival showcasing Downtown Missoula. The event is usually held in August, but be sure to check out events calendar for the exact date. This event celebrates Downtown's success and provides an opportunity to highlight some of Missoula's most recently developed attractions. Musical entertainment, Juried art shows, a 4-mile Run/walk, and family activities are held throughout the Festival.

Missoula Symphony in the Park

Hear light classics and perhaps some pop tunes during the Symphony's annual free summer concert at Caras Park in August. Beginning at 7pm, grab the lawn chairs and bring the family down for a fun evening of music, friends and food. Many on-site vendors provide your favorite local dishes and brew.


Germanfest is a celebration of German culture and Missoula's Sister City relationship with Neckargemund. This event takes place every fall at Caras Park Pavilion. Admission is free. Music, dancing, food, beer and even kids activities are a part of this annual celebration.


The Missoula annual Hempfest promotes awareness of the many uses of industrial hemp as a viable economic resource and the alternatives available to us through healing, eating, building, thinking and liking. The events activities include live music, a hemp fashion show, food vendors, and information booths. Each year this event is held in September at Missoula's Caras Park.

Montana Festival of the Book

For three days and nights in October, Montana celebrates reading, writing and books. Humanities Montana Festival of the Book features over 70 of the region's writers in a variety of readings, panels, exhibits, demonstrations, a literary contest, signings, entertainment, receptions and tours connected to festival events.

Festival of Remembrance


An Annual, all-inclusive multicultural event that honors life and death through community involvement in the arts. Inspired by the traditions of El Dia de los Muertos, the Festival includes a month of arts workshops, events, and performances, culminating in a traditional Festival of Remembrance processional down Higgins Avenue to Caras Park.

Parade of Lights

The Annual Parade of lights is an all-day family event with numerous children's activities and projects. The events festivities include the arrival of Santa Claus in Downtown Missoula's Florence Building, lighting of Downtown's Christmas Tree at the Red XXXX's on North Higgins avenue as well as many others. Each year the event takes place in early December.

First Night Missoula

This annual community New Year's Eve celebration of the arts. Hundreds of performing, visual and literary artists showcase their diverse talents in more than 100 events throughout Missoula. This spirited celebration is open to the entire community and is alcohol and drug free.

Happening Today

Jul 17 Missoula City Band Summer Concert Series
Jul 17 Out To Lunch
Jul 17 Wednesday Afternoon Farmers Market at O’Hara Commons
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