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Classic Events Coming to Montana’s Whitefish, Big Sky In Early February; Winter Carnival And Bluegrass Fest

Whitefish Winter CarnivalA couple of classic events, one has been around for a decade and the other nearly six decades, are happening at Whitefish and Big Sky early next month. And, of course, there’s always great skiing and riding at both plus some attractive lift and lodging packages.

The Whitefish Winter Carnival, taking place Feb. 6-8, has been around for 56 years and is considered one of America’s best winter carnivals. I have attended in past years and rank the visit, coupled with skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort, as one of my most memorable winter trips.

They always have a theme, and this year is America the Beautiful; Honoring Veterans. There are activities all weekend long starting with parties at area restaurants and bars Friday night. The Penguin Plunge, held at the city beach on Saturday morning, helps raise funds for area charities. They cut a hole through the ice, and it’s always entertaining. That’s followed by the Grand Parade downtown Saturday afternoon, a fun parade with lots of slapstick, comical floats and local celebrities. You won’t lack for activities, and it’s all in good taste that the whole family can enjoy.

Whitefish Mountain Resort is offering mid-winter ski and stay packages from $135 per person, per night, based on quad rooms, within easy walking distance of the main lifts. A three night minimum stay is required. Their Eat-Ski-Sleep-Repeat package, valid Sunday through Thursday night at the Hibernation House value hotel starts from $84 per person, per night, based on double occupancy, and includes a hot breakfast and hot tub access. A two night minimum stay is required. Glacier National Park is only a 31 mile scenic drive from the resort. You can see the park’s peaks from the summit of Big Mountain, which is over 6,800 feet.

Bluegrass slides into Big Sky Resort for the ninth annual Big Sky Big Grass Festival, Feb. 5-8 with Leftover Salmon kicking off the jams that Thursday night at Whiskey Jacks. The long running festival is held in multiple locations throughout the resort.

There are free shows and ticketed shows featuring the main headliners. Some of the top names include John Jorgenson Blue Grass Band, the all-woman bluegrass band Della Mae, Billy Strings and Don Julin, The Travelin’ McCourys, The Grant Farm Band, The Good Time Travelers, Darol Anger and the Furies, and Pert Near Sandstone, which have appeared at Lutsen Mountain’s Papa Charlies in Minnesota. It is four nights of great bluegrass music. That’s just a partial lineup.

The big weekend pass that includes three nights of music is $180. Thursday night performances are sold separately. Nightly tickets run from $60 to $65 per night, purchased in advance. Lodging specials, separate from the music performances, start from $199 at the Huntley.

Big Sky Resort is offering a Fourth Night Free lodging special through the end of ski season with some blackout dates.

Photos: Top -- Whitefish hosts its six decade old Winter Carnival in February (Whitefish); Bottom -- Big Sky is skiing's bluegrass music capital Feb. 5-9 (Big Sky)

Bluegrass at Big Sky



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