The holiday season anywhere is a special time, but something about holidays in Bozeman and Belgrade is truly magical. All of the small wonders that knit our community together in their own unique way are magnified by the spirit of the holiday season. As snowfall begins to blanket the city and the lights go up on Main Street, the buzz of the holidays begins to settle in among the locals.
Of course, with such an interesting year nearly under our belts, its only natural to expect that celebrations may look a bit different this year. Our valley has had to stay agile and adjust as a community throughout all of 2020, and the holiday season is proving no different. But if ever there was a time to keep the woes of the world from getting you down, it’s now. That’s why we’ve put together out best list of holiday happenings in the Gallatin Valley you can still look forward to this season.
Small Business Saturdays
What started as a response to the big box store deals of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is now a town favorite. Incentivized to spend their holiday budget within the community instead of online, locals can find a variety of killer deals up and down Main Street and all throughout the Gallatin Valley. It's no secret that this year has been especially hard on our small businesses, who might be feeling the effects of the pandemic more than just about any other sector in our nation. Bozeman and Belgrade have always been great about supporting their local businesses, and this year is no different. Now, residents can look forward to not just one day of great deals from their local makers, but for weeks to come. Throughout the month of December, every Saturday is Small Business Saturday, as boutiques, home good shops, bakeries, and more all do their best to offer their community members discounted rates that get them in the door and keep our local economies thriving.
Montana Ballet Company’s Classic Nutcracker Performance
The Nutcracker has always been a longtime favorite in the Gallatin Valley, with locals buying up tickets to the Ellen Theater every single season. With stunning performances from the Montana Ballet Company, it's no wonder this event is an annual Christmas favorite. This year, the event will look a little different, as the Ellen is not currently hosting any live events. Enthusiasts can rest easy, however, as the entire event will still be available online. Those who purchase tickets will get access to more than just the standard ballet, too. This year the company has compiled all kinds of goodies for its viewers, including past footage of some iconic years, reimagined performances, as well as one-on-one interviews with the dancers themselves. Locals can purchase tickets at the Montana Ballet Company's website here.
The Annually Anticipated Christmas Stroll
Ah yes, the Christmas Stroll—the crème de la crème of the holiday season here in the Gallatin Valley. The Stroll is without a doubt one of the most anticipated events of the year, with people pouring in from all over the valley to stand shoulder-to-shoulder as they soak up the magic of Main Street in Bozeman. Of course, that sort of thing isn’t exactly encouraged at the moment, so the Christmas Stroll is doing things in a new way this season. Instead of one massive event, the city is spreading the highlights out of the course of a few days, from December 2nd to the 5th. They’ll start with the Parade of Lights: Window Decorating Contest (vote for your favorite here). The annual Gingerbread House Contest will still be held at 424 East Main Street, where locals can view each elaborate, edible house (masks and social distancing required). The Restaurant Give-Back and the Elf on the Shelf hunt will also be taking place, so be sure to get out to Main Street, support our local eateries as they give back to nonprofits, and do your best to find that elf! Virtual choirs and concerts will be going on all day long on December 5th leading up to the big event, where Santa will ride his sleigh down Main Street as he lights the Christmas Spiders! Catch the live stream and all other important information here.
You can find out what other events are still taking place and what to expect throughout the holiday season on Downtown Bozeman’s Events Page.