Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bigfork Festival of the Arts

This summer, my favorite past-time has been attending the many arts festivals, farmer's markets, and other outdoor markets available in the Flathead Valley.  Each of them has been a pleasure, but the best outdoor market I have been to so far, has been the Bigfork Festival of the Arts.

The location on quaint Electric Avenue adds to the charm (many outdoor markets in the Flathead are on lawns or in parking lots).  The sheer number of vendors makes this arts festival especially wonderful too.  There is good variety of different kinds of art, from metalwork to pottery to handcrafts to woodwork to photography to jewelry, but I saw far more unique pieces of artistry at this festival than at any other this season.  I also saw more vendors from places outside of Montana than I had seen elsewhere.  Walking down Electric Avenue, my senses were overwhelmed with the textures and bright colors and gorgeous smells (from the handmade soaps and food vendors alike!).

There were an excellent selection of food vendors.  I saw stands and food trucks for roasted corn, roasted turkey legs, artisan tacos, sweet and savory crepes, beautiful handcrafted pizza (trucked in hot and fresh by local chef Engjell Vrapi on his motorbike), hand-dipped corn dogs (which Burrito devoured), Szechuan noodles and of course the always popular Island Noodles.  When you filled up with lunch, you could always venture down the street to Sweet Peaks, the homemade ice cream shop that is home to unique flavors like Lemon Sesame, Salted Caramel, Cupcake, Huckleberry, and Avocado Lime (along with old favorites too).  I contend that Sweet Peaks makes the best ice cream I have ever eaten and you're nuts if you don't stop by. 

Here are a few lovely shots from the Arts Festival.  It's ongoing today and tomorrow.   (Most of the photos are courtesy of my husband, Christopher Miller.)

Lunch for Christopher and I was found at the Taco truck. 
I partook of the shredded pork taco, with salsa, cilantro, cheese.  Christopher had the buffalo taco with (yes) buffalo meat, cotija cheese, pico de gallo).  Yum!

This was an awesome find...purses/satchels made out of Costa Rican coffee bags.  They looked exactly like the bags we used to reuse for shopping in the outdoor market when I lived in Costa Rica as a child.
Beautiful metal work.
The local theater kids performing and collecting tips in a guitar case.  Love it!
Local artist Eric Thorsen does amazing sculpture and metal work.  I wasn't sure this bear wasn't real, as it rested outside his Electric Avenue art gallery.
Beautiful blown glass baubles.
The streetscape.  Love the crowds of people enjoying the sun and art and food.


  1. Every time you describe the beauty of the Flathead Valley, I mentally start planning a trip to visit you. Now I've decided... when I do finally get organized to make that trip, it must include a visit to this art festival.

  2. Thanks, Barb! You must come visit us! There are wonderful things to do year round here!


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