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Lewis and Clark Festival

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Location Great Falls
Dates June 14, 2019 - June 16, 2019

From Lewis and Clark Festival Website:

Native American dancers, a black powder rifle demonstration, and live music throughout the day were just a few of the activities and sights that visitors enjoyed at this years 29th annual Lewis and Clark Festival in Great Falls, Montana. The Festival, which was scheduled for June, was moved to August 25 because of rain. It is organized each year by the Lewis & Clark Foundation.

Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, along with Sacagawea and the Corps of Discovery, spent nearly a month in the Great Falls area in 1805, encountering one of their biggest obstacles the series of waterfalls known as the Great Falls of the Missouri. The Lewis and Clark Festival re-creates the adventures and hardships of life in the 1805 frontier encountered by the Corps of Discovery.

Thanks to sponsors such as US Bank and the Portage Route Chapter, Saturdays Festival events were free to the public, with a jam-packed day filled with fun family activities. Please help us thank our sponsors, who are listed at the bottom of this page.

The Honor Guard began the day with a black powder salute among the shade trees and open space of Gibson Park. A highlight of this years event was the Native American dancers and drummers from the Blackfeet Tribe, who performed at noon and 3 pm. Several other musicians and groups also performed during the day in the band shell, including Peter and Molly Wilson, Jeni Dodd, Thorn Amongst Roses, and Jeff Christensen.

Childrens activities included story-telling with Buddy, a live Newfoundland dog representing Seaman, the dog owned by Meriwether Lewis. Lewis purchased Seaman for $20, a large sum of money 200 years ago. He served as a good hunter and guard dog during the expedition. Children also brought trade goods and learned some bartering tips with a seasoned trader at the trade blanket.

The nationally renowned Lewis and Clark Honor Guard presented several programs throughout the day in the Council Lodge Presentation Area. Two conjoined tipis formed the stage for each program, as was the historical tradition among some of the Native tribes in the area. Programs included Fire-starting, cooking, and skinning a beaver. At the end of the day, the Honor Guard presented the firearms of the Expedition, and fired many of the weapons using a blank charge. As a staple of military units and a necessity of survival, firearms were essential for the Corps of Discovery.

Another popular venue this year was the Native lodge encampment, with two Blackfeet painted tipis, and a Quill tipi from Jeremy Red Eagle of the Lakota people. Red Eagle also gave a presentation on the history and background of the Quill tipi.

The fine arts and crafts area featured unique items for sale, food concessions also catered to the crowds, featuring Indian tacos, burgers, and other food items.

The festivities continued at 7 p.m. as the Rivers Edge Trail hosted its popular Luminaria Walk. In partnership with the Festival, the Trail has brought back its popular Luminaria Walk, with food, music, and a host of other activities along the Trail, which was lit from Gibson Park and under the tunnel across the Missouri River via the pedestrian bridge, into West Bank Park.

The 29th annual Lewis and Clark Festival brought a weekend full of fun and adventure as visitors re-lived the Expedition, the Native cultures they encountered, and how the Corps lived and survived. If you missed this years Festival, join us in 2019 from June 14-16, for our 30th Lewis and Clark Festival!
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For ended craft show, fairs and festivals, please go to our archive page.