Winter Events in Montana’s Yellowstone Country 2023-24
Winter events in Montana’s Yellowstone Country are getting underway and the camaraderie, traditions, food and festivities are all great reasons to get out and experience the cultural side of our region.
Nordic Ski Festival
First is the Yellowstone Ski Festival in West Yellowstone, Nov. 18-26. For over forty years, Nordic skiers from across the country have gathered the week of Thanksgiving for clinics and competitive ski and biathlon races.
Runners love Huffing for Stuffing in Bozeman and the Red Lodge Turkey Trot, which take place on Thanksgiving Day — a jump start to the day before enjoying your feast! It’s not long after Thanksgiving that the holiday strolls begin. You’ll find this tradition in the smallest communities where people gather to celebrate the season with parades, lights, food, libations and good cheer.
The Bozeman Winter Farmers’ Market takes place each Saturday, with local produce, baked goods, flowers, preserves and crafts. Speaking of food, Montana State University is hosting its 59th annual Madrigal Dinners, Dec. 2-3 in Bozeman and Dec. 4 in Big Sky. Enjoy a traditional Renaissance dinner with a gourmet twist as court musicians perform traditional carols sung for centuries during the twelve days of Christmas.
The same weekend, Montana Ballet Company performs The Nutcracker at Willson Auditorium. Set to Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, the performances are a collaboration of dancers, choreographers, musicians and designers arranging new choreography and theatrical elements.
One of the premier outdoor programs in our region, Kids ‘n’ Snow is a great way to teach kids about fun outdoor winter activities. The program takes place on five different days throughout the winter and includes programs such as ice fishing, snow safety, dog sledding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, ice skating, and s’mores!
Don’t miss the Belgrade Christmas Convoy and Festival of Lights. The convoy, comprised of one hundred trucks, tractors, and trailers decorated to the hilt in lights, weaves its way around town, followed by the Festival of Lights.
Big Sky Resort and Bridger Bowl Ski Area hold torchlight parades on Dec. 24 and Dec. 30, respectively. If you are unfamiliar, skiers carrying lit torches serpentine down the hill in a beautiful light display. Fireworks follow, and for those at Bridger, live music and a spaghetti feed happen after the lifts stop!
Broadway in Bozeman hosts five performances this season: Blippi, Jesus Christ Superstar, Mean Girls the Musical, Menopause the Musical 2 and Annie! All shows occur at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on the Montana State University campus.
One of the wildest western sports is ski joring, a fast-paced, timed race where horse and rider pull a skier through a course of jumps and obstacles. There are two in Montana’s Yellowstone Country, Big Sky Skijoring takes place Feb. 3-4, 2024, and in Red Lodge, the National Finals Ski-Joring Competion is March 9-10, 2024.
It’s a full lineup, and no matter where you travel, you’ll find revelry and community spirit abound.