Big Sky Big Grass
For the eighth straight year, a lineup of bluegrass giants heats up the Big Sky winter with fast and furious finger picking. Headlined by the Sam Bush Band, Travelin’ McCourys and The Infamous Stringdusters, Big Sky Big Grass is one of the best festivals in the Northwest, says emcee Jason Meyers.
The Big Grass Music Academy, a pet project for show organizer Steve Merlino, is now in its second year of connecting budding musicians with the pros.
Make sure to hit the fest on Saturday night for the Sam Bush Band – Bush is known for inviting all of the weekend’s performers up on stage for one big jam session. bigskybiggrass.com, bigskyresort.com
Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest
Powder hounds love British Columbia for its famed powder snow and laid back vibe, and Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest at Whitewater Ski Resort has been celebrating that fact for eight years now.
“That coupled with the region’s tight community and love of snow sports distinguishes this as one of the premier ski fests in North America,” said Whitewater’s Rebeckah Hornung.
The event spreads attendees out among its 1,184 treed acres and into the surrounding backcountry, Hornung said. Specialized freeride, backcountry and telemark clinics will be available for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities, with celebrity guides including Greg Hill, Eric Pehota and Alison Gannet. coldsmokepowderfest.com
St. Patrick’s Day in Butte, America
At the turn of the 20th century, Butte had the highest percentage of Irish-Americans of any town in the U.S. – higher even than Boston, with more than a quarter of the population originating from Ireland.
Today, the Emerald Isle’s culture remains prominent, evidenced by the architecture and the Sullivans and Sheas in the phonebook. Butte also boasts one of the country’s rowdiest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, with 30,000 people flooding the city’s pubs and streets.
With its Celtic step dancers, green beer, green hair and corned beef and cabbage, this is one for the bucket list. buttecvb.com