2017 Acantha file photo

Choteau will celebrate the nation’s birthday with a busy slate of special July 3 and 4 including a parade, an obstacle course race, a rodeo, an art and craft show, a community band concert, a 4 mile/1 mile fun run, a bluegrass and micro-brewfest and a martial arts/boxing event among other activities.

Events scheduled so far include:

•July 3 — The Choteau Soroptimists’ Choteau Summer Festival, an art and craft fair in the City Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Summer Festival will be set up in the northern half of the City Park. Showcased will be regional artists and crafts people, including painters, woodworkers, jewelry makers and furniture crafters, many of them specializing in made-in-Montana goods. Concession stands will sell candy, beverages and a lunch plate, and there will be activities for children as well. For more information on the Choteau Summer Festival, contact Sara Coccoli at 590-9401.

•July 3 — Choteau Community Band will perform a summer concert in the City Park from noon to 1 p.m. Community members are invited to bring lawn chairs and enjoy the efforts of musicians of all ages under the direction of conductor Jeanette McCormick. Musicians from throughout the area take part in this band.

•July 3 — At 1 p.m. the Soroptimists will launch their “duck races” on Spring Creek. Duck race tickets will be on sale in the park and can also be purchased in advance at select local businesses, including Country Hallmark.

•July 3 — Choteau’s eighth “Got Grit” obstacle course challenge at 3 p.m. Online registration is now open on www.runchoteau.com. Race-day registration is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the City Park. This event is being held as a fundraiser by the Choteau club volleyball team. Those planning to take part should be prepared to get wet and muddy. Obstacles will include rope climb, cargo net climb, ground clearance crawl, sprints, tire drills, tire tumble, wheelbarrow push, and more. The course is located in the city.

•July 3 — The Choteau Chamber of Commerce is planning its fourth brewfest in the City Park from 4 to 7 p.m. This event will include a variety of microbrew vendors, food vendors and live music by Little Jane and the Pistol Whips. Admission is $10 and includes one free beer.

•July 3 — Small Town Throw Down, sponsored by the Sons of the American Legion, will start at 7 p.m. in the Choteau Rodeo Grounds. Male and female mixed martial arts fighters, boxers and kick boxers from around the state and Lethbridge, Alberta, will come to Choteau through the fight promoter Fusion Fight League of Billings. Tickets are $20 each and will be available at the gate. Concessions will be sold and there will be a beer garden.

•July 3 — After the fights, downtown will be hopping with street dances and socializing at the local water holes.

•July 4 — Runners and walkers will take part in Rocky’s Road races, sponsored by Grizzly Activity Inc. The 4-mile and 1-mile run/walks will start at the high school track complex. The races are open to all ages. Registration forms are available at the Choteau Acantha and the Stage Stop Inn. Race-day registration will start at 6:45 a.m. Both races start at 7:45 a.m. For more information, call Melody Martinsen at 466-2403 or email her at acantha@3rivers.net. Rocky’s Road proceeds will benefit the Glioblastoma Foundation in honor of the late Choteau and Augusta outfitter Rocky Heckman, who valiantly fought brain cancer until his death in April, 2017.

•July 4 — Bright Eyes animal shelter will hold a bake sale at 8 a.m. on Main Street until all goods are sold.

•July 4 — The Choteau Chamber of Commerce 4th of July parade starts at 10 a.m. on July 4 so get a good seat on Main Avenue to view the cleverly-crafted floats, the horsemen and horsewomen, and the kids’ decorated bikes, tricycles and wagons. Parade organizers are asking the public not to park on Main Avenue during the parade because the vehicles narrow the traffic path and obscure others’ views of the parade. This year’s parade theme is “Diggin’ It” and parade grand marshals are Choteau Acantha owners Jeff and Melody Martinsen, who have been publishing the weekly newspaper here for the past 28 years.

•July 4 — Volunteers with the Choteau Chamber of Commerce will feed a park full during the steak fry at the Choteau Pavilion, starting at 11 a.m. The menu includes potatoes, coleslaw and hotdogs as well.

•July 4 — The American Legion Post and Auxiliary will put on their 73rd annual rodeo at the rodeo grounds. The rodeo, starting at 2 p.m., will feature about two hours of this rough and tumble sport. Food, beverage and snack concessions will be available. This year’s rodeo will feature an “instant replay” big screen.

•July 4 — At dark, a fireworks display on airport hill, ignited by the Choteau Volunteer Fire Department, caps off this Independence Day tribute. The $12,000 fireworks display is paid for by community donations and proceeds from fundraisers. Donations can be sent to the Choteau Fireworks Fund, in care of the City of Choteau, P.O. Box 619, Choteau, MT 59422.

•July 5 — The Choteau High School class of 1968 will hold its 50-year reunion at the Choteau Country Club, starting at 4 p.m. All Choteau Public Schools teachers and staff and community members are welcome to come after 6:30 p.m. to visit and reminisce. Call Barb McManus at 788-9591 for more information.