By Emily Wolfe Explore Big Sky Managing Editor
BIG SKY – As evening falls over Big Sky on July 16, mouth-watering
smells will waft over the lawn at Buck’s T-4. Some of the area’s best
restaurants will be gathered for the 16th annual Big Sky Food Festival,
a tradition that draws approximately 1,200 people every year.
Festival attendees are primarily Big Sky residents, said Bucks co-owner
“I see a lot of faces I know when I walk around the food fest,” he said,
noting that several hundred regional visitors also attend yearly, coming
from as far as Idaho Falls and Billings.
Each of the 12-15 vendors offers appetizer-sized portions, giving
patrons a chance to sample several. Many do “their own twist on fair
food” O’Connor said.
“It’s something where they can introduce their own flair, the theme of
their own restaurant, but still make it fun to eat outside.”
There will also be beer and wine booths outside, as well as a full bar
inside Buck’s, and live music.
“It’s a great event, so community-driven,” said Morgan Ayres, owner of
the Cinnamon Lodge. A vendor at the festival, Ayres is planning to
bring bacon-wrapped jalapeños, handmade tamales, sopapilla
cheesecake, key lime pie and prickly bear lemonade.
Rainbow Ranch participates every year, and general manager Mollie
Eckman says it’s good exposure for the ranch’s high-end dining room.
“The Big Sky Food Festival is not necessarily our everyday clientele, so
its good to get out and network and see different people, and expose
them to different food.”
The Big Sky Food Festival will run from 5-10 p.m. O’Connor
recommends carpooling, as parking is limited.