The Front Range Yoga Festival returns to Choteau June 12 and 13 with close to 100 participants and instructors expected.
Choteau and Conrad Yoga instructor Rosanne Balasabas is hosting the festival with the help of fellow yogis Claire Hodgskiss, Katie Adams and Lauren Bleck. Balasabas said on Monday there are still tickets available, but they must be purchased before Friday to attend.
The festival will offer a variety of yoga classes and workshops over the two days in four studios, all located in downtown Choteau. All yoga studios are within walking distance from each other, Balasabas said — something that is harder to provide when events are held in larger communities.
Instructors are coming from throughout the state — Missoula, Helena, Kalispell, Whitefish, Superior, Great Falls, Livingston and Bozeman — along with ones from Idaho and as far away as North Carolina and Virginia Beach.
The Choteau Pavilion will be the hub for all other activities. Registration will be held there Friday and Saturday, along with a catered lunch on Saturday with live music from Dan Dubuque.
On Saturday from 6-9 p.m. the band Archertown from the Whitefish area will be performing live at the Pavilion. Refreshments will be available from a beer garden on site. The public is invited to join the festival goers for the evening of music.
Spices ‘n Spurs food truck is providing the noon meal which is part of the yoga festival package. They will also offer breakfast and dinner from their food truck near the Pavilion throughout the weekend. The public is welcome to stop by and grab a meal from the food truck as well. Not Your Mama’s Nutrition from Great Falls will be serving smoothies at the Choteau Pavilion on Saturday morning.
Local businesses are also stepping up and offering specials or will be open longer to provide shopping for the festival attendees. Copper Creek Coffee will be offering a special yoga fest menu throughout the weekend. Balasabas also encourages the festival goers to stop by Bylers Bakery, Log Cabin, Outpost Deli and John Henry’s for a meal while in Choteau. Pivot Pop Up Boutique, Curly Willow and Country Hallmark will be having sidewalk sales during the weekend, and other business might be offering specials Balasabas is unaware of. “Judging from the comments of those who attended the festival in 2019, they enjoyed visiting the local businesses, eating establishments and entertainment spots during the evening,” she said. “I’m sure this year will be no different.”
The Choteau Arts Studio and Gallery is holding a day-long open house with extended hours on Saturday and will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The gallery is planning to serve wine and refreshments from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is offering 10% off any one item in the gallery.
Area residents interested in yoga can participate in a free yoga session to be held Sunday at the Pavilion. Balasabas wasn’t sure what time the class will be held as final schedules are just being completed. For more information on this class, check the Front Range Yoga Facebook page or stop by the Pavilion on Saturday for the time.
Balasabas was pleased to have worked with others within the community to offer specials. Dropstone Outfitters and Front Range Yoga collaborated to provide a half-day guided hike along the Rocky Mountain Front for several festival participants.
She was also able to offer several scholarship opportunities for yogis on a budget. “We recognize that tickets and travel to Choteau isn’t cheap but we’ve had generous donations from previous yoga fest attendees that are unable to attend this year and want to pay-it-forward in the form of ticket scholarships,” Balasabas said.
The first yoga festival was held in June in 2019 and was a huge success. Balasabas started planning for 2020 with big plans for expansion. Unfortunately, last year’s festival was transformed to a virtual event because of COVID-19. While there were plenty of classes online for those interested, the event was by donation only and didn’t generate revenue to use toward this year’s festival.
There have been ups and downs in planning the 2021 festival as well with ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Balasabas has contacted the Teton County Health Department and will remain in compliance with Montana law and local regulations. She said there will be mat cleaner, sanitizer and hand wipes readily available at all locations. “We have volunteers that will wipe down the studios in between classes,” she added.
Balasabas, who is the Pondera County attorney, said despite being busy with last-minute preparations for the festival, she is excited for the event and looks forward to welcoming students and instructors from across the country to Choteau.
To stay up to date and connected with the festival information, check Instagram and Facebook at Front Range Yoga.