EBS STAFF

The Sweet Pea Festival is a three-day festival of the arts held in downtown Bozeman the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in August. This year’s Lindley Park programming kicks off late in the afternoon Friday, Aug. 4 with a performance by Montana Shakespeare in the Parks; Saturday ramps up with a children’s run and parade that lead the community to the park where the festivities continue through 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6. 

The weekend entertainment comes in many forms including music of all genres, performances by local theatre and dance troupes, workshops, family-friendly entertainment and activities, a flower show, a beer and wine garden featuring Montana microbrews, and more than 100 arts and crafts vendors offering unique, handcrafted goods.

The week leading up to the Sweet Pea Festival also offers an abundance of free community events. The Sweet Pea juried art show is on display at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture through Sept. 1. The show will feature a diverse collection of artwork from Montana artists, ranging from watercolor and oil paintings to sculptural works. 

Artists of all skill levels converge on Main Street on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 1, for Chalk on the Walk, where kids, adults and professionals decorate the downtown Bozeman sidewalks between Grand and Broadway. Professional chalk artists Bill Spiess and Raquel Mayer will be creating works of art in front of U.S. Bank. 

More than 40 area restaurants and food vendors will showcase their offerings on Main Street during the Bite of Bozeman on Wednesday, Aug. 2 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 3, brings The Sweet Groovalicious Funk Machine to the Music on Main stage for a full-on ‘70s dance party beginning at 6:30 p.m. Immediately following Music on Main, Sweet Pea presents a free screening of “The Seeker” at the Ellen Theatre. The film highlights the band Cloud Cult, which will close out the Main Stage Sunday afternoon at Lindley Park.

The Sweet Pea Run, Children’s Run and Sweet Pea Parade all take place the morning of Saturday, Aug. 5.

Music, dance, theatre and family stage performances are ongoing at Lindley Park from 4-10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, and 11 a.m. -7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6.

Admission to events leading up to festival weekend is free. Admission to the events in Lindley Park requires the purchase of an admission wristband, with children six and under admitted free.

The Sweet Pea Festival is a registered nonprofit. All money raised beyond what is needed to operate the festival is given back to the community in the form of grants for the arts, art education and special projects in the Bozeman area.

With the success of the 2016 festival, Sweet Pea was able to give grants to eight local non-profit organizations including the Children’s Museum and Eagle Mount, and sponsorships to six arts organizations such as Pecha Kucha, the Bozeman Film Society and SLAM, which hosts it annual Summer Festival concurrently with Sweet Pea in Bozeman’s Bogert Park. 

“There is never too much art to be had!” writes Sweet Pea executive director Kris Olenicki. “All for one, art for all!” 

Visit sweetpeafestival.org for a full schedule of events.