Top Ten Fall Events in Helena
By Chelsea Paschall
As Summer gives way to crisp autumn weather and colorful foliage, Helena continues to bustle with ample creative opportunities. Pair an event with a drive in the surrounding mountains Scenic Drives for Your Fall Bucket List.
#10: Helena Kiwanis Club Food Truck Challenge
September 16 & 17
Anticipate two days of eating, drinking…and eating some more at the Helena Kiwanis Club fundraiser, HKC Food Truck Challenge. Montana’s finest food trucks will gather at Pioneer Park to serve up delicious meals while local bands will get you moving: El Wencho, SunsAh406, and Sweetgrass Blues Band. Vote on your favorite truck for Best of Spirit, Best of Food and Best Theme & Design.
#9: Helena Symphony Masterworks Concert and After Party
The kickoff to the Helena Symphony’s Masterworks Concerts opens with evocative escape and sensuality! Violinist Stephen Cepeda’s virtuosity soars in Max Bruch’s quest for an idyllic dream of Scotland, and the HSO brings to life the magical mayhem of Dukas with his Sorcerer’s Apprentice! The excitement of the evening continues with the Opening Night After Party! Both the concert and festivities will be held at the Helena Civic Center.
#8: Fall Art Walk
Celebrate local artists and businesses by taking an illuminating stroll downtown 4pm – 8pm.The Fall Art Walk offers the opportunity for local businesses to showcase the robust talent of our town. This event brings downtown businesses, local artists, and the Helena community together to experience a variety of art in unique venues throughout the area. In addition to the art, there will be free food and beverages, live music, and door prizes!
#7: Kids Fall Fest and Little Tykes Trick or Treat
October 15 and October 31
The thrills of Halloween deserve a buildup (time to start thinking about costumes), and in Helena there’s many opportunities to do so.
In mid-October, get ready for the return of annual Kids’ Fall Festival on Saturday, October 15th, from 10am – 1pm. The famous Pumpkin Patch will have pumpkins ready for kids to pick up along with a multitude of fun activities. Keep an eye on Downtown Helena Inc. for the full listing of participating vendors and activities.
On Halloween, dress up in your family in your most entertaining costumes. Downtown businesses will have treats waiting 1pm – 5pm. Great fun for the whole family!
#6: Sweet Bee Fall Vintage Market
Grab your friends for a delightful day of shopping, food and live music hosted by Sweet Bee at the Helena Civic Center! Dozens of vendors will have a huge variety of curated items and handcrafted wares. There will be plenty of delicious baked goods to indulge in. Special live performance by local favorites Kendrick & Mondie.
#5: Just for the Helena of It – Half Marathon & 5 K
Just for the Helena of It is a new Half Marathon and 5K. For a showcase of our Queen City, come run the family-friendly Half Marathon route that weaves through Helena’s most historic and scenic areas as an out-and-back course. Come enjoy a course emphasizing everything that makes Helena great.
#5 1/2: Last Chance Graveler
Whether you are up to the task of taking on 93 miles of gravel with lots of climbing through incredible scenery with ghost towns or want to cheer on and support riders, the Last Chance Graveler will leave you riveted.
#4: Helena Ales for Trails
The 11th Annual Helena Ales for Trails is about as ‘Helena’ as you can get – bringing together partners from a variety of sectors to raise funds for the Helena trail system. The festival will feature 60+ beverages from 20+ breweries, including beer, cider, kombucha, and wine tasting. Funds previously raised have contributed to new trail corridors and maintenance. Before or after the festivities plan a hike on our extensive trail system.
This year’s event will happen in Pioneer Park (located next to Lewis & Clark Library at the far southern end of the walking mall). Must be 21+ to attend.
#3: Soap Box Derby
September 23 – 24
Calling all Soapbox Car racers and fans! The 2nd Annual Septemberfest Soapbox Derby is gearing up to storm Helena! The race will take place at 1pm on the 24th, with vehicle check-in on the 23rd. Events will include family activities, an awards ceremony, beer gardens and local rockers Big Ska Country performing.
October 14 – 16
Having its inaugural year in 2022…The Queen City Oktoberfest will keep you busy! Three whole days filled with music, rough stock rodeo, car show, contests, craft & art fair and more! There will be plenty of Montana’s finest craft brews to keep your steins full. So dust off your lederhosen and be ready to cheers! Held at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds.
#1: Last Chance Community Pow Wow
September 30 – October 2
This will be the 23rd celebration with the theme ‘Honor the Children’. One of the missions of the Last Chance Community Pow Wow is to help teach youth the many traditions of Native American culture and to share this with their peers to create a better understanding between Native and non-Natives. The public is invited to join in the festivities at the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds, which include dancing, drumming, contests, raffles, concessions and arts and crafts. Admission is free.
More events invite your discovery at Visit Helena
Photo Credit for Soap Box Derby Photograph: Stephen Butkay