Like the old Mellencamp song wails, "I was born in a small town."

Most of Montana is dotted with small towns. Even our largest communities are hardly considered "cities" compared to major metros. Only eight towns in Montana have more than 10,000 residents, while hundreds of communities in the Treasure State have less than 1,000 full-time residents.

If you live in Montana, there's a strong chance you grew up in one of our small towns. I love them and the parties they throw. Two are happening this weekend, just a short drive from Billings. Homesteader Days and Jim Bridger Days.

Credit: Mark Wilson, TSM
Who are these clowns @Homesteader Days? Credit: Mark Wilson, TSM

Pick your direction for small-town fun.

Both communities are just a short drive from Billings. Huntley is closer, so we'll start with Homesteader Days. This annual event was launched by the Huntley Project Lions Club back in 1964 and this year's 59th edition promises a great weekend. It kicks off on Friday night, July 14th with gates opening at 4:30 pm. No coolers, no gate re-entry. Ticket details HERE.

  • 5:00 pm: Food, beer, and other drinks available on the grounds
  • 6:30 pm: Exit 53
  • 8:00 pm: Tracy Byrd
  • 10:00 pm: Exit 53 (After-Party)
  • The beer garden is open until 12:30 am

A full day of Family Fun continues on Saturday.


Or head southwest to Bridger.

Jim Bridger Days is always a great time too, and this year they're expecting crowds for a weekend that includes truck and tractor pulls, a demolition derby, fireworks, and plenty of dancing in the street. The fun in Bridger kicks off Friday night, July 14th.

  • 6:00 pm: Truck and Tractor Pulls at the Fairgrounds.
  • DUSK: Fireworks at the baseball field.
  • After the fireworks, like music by Fast Forward at Pool Park till 1:30 am.

Come back Saturday, July 15th for more fun.

  • 7:00 am - 10:00 am: Breakfast at the Firehall
  • 11:00 am: Parade
  • 9:00 am - 5:00 pm: Food and Vendor show at Pool Park. Fun activities for kids.
  • 6:00 pm: Demolition Derby at the Fairgrounds (gates open at 4:30 pm).
  • 10:00 pm: Live music by Tanglewood at Pool Park.

If you're traveling to small-town fun this summer and like to enjoy some drinks, please have a designated driver.

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