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  • 4th of July Festivities & Fireworks over Whitefish Lake - 2023

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    Name: 4th of July Festivities & Fireworks over Whitefish Lake - 2023
    Date: July 4, 2023
    Time: 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM MDT
    Event Description:
     Weather forces cancellation
    of Whitefish fireworks display
     
    Ninety minutes of foul weather put a damper on Whitefish's Fourth of July celebration Tuesday night, forcing cancellation of the annual fireworks display at City Beach.  The show will not be re-scheduled.
     
    "We apologize to the thousands of diehard folks who braved the elements to come out for the show," said Chamber Executive Director Kevin Gartland. "Like them, we were extremely disappointed to have to cancel the display, but we had no other choice."
     
    A summer storm front began rolling-in over Whitefish Lake at about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, accompanied by high winds, lightning strikes and rain.
     
    Within five minutes, crews preparing for the 10:30 p.m. fireworks show were dealing with swells estimated at 3-4 feet, sending waves crashing over the fireworks barge and nearly capsizing the crew's launch boat.
     
    The boat was able to make it safely to shore, where the crew rode out the storm shortly after 10 p.m., when the decision was made to cancel.
     
    "At that point the wind had calmed down," Gartland said, "but it was still raining and the Weather Service was reporting a continuing chance of lightning in the area until midnight."
     
    In addition, the rain and wave action had thoroughly waterlogged the fireworks cannons and shells, making it impossible to actually "fire" the show.
     
    The Chamber posted news of the cancellation on it's Facebook page Tuesday night, and folks already at City Beach were informed of the cancellation by Park Rangers and local police officers, making the announcement from loudspeakers on their cruisers.
     
    Despite the disappointment of having to cancel the show, Gartland expressed the Chamber's thanks to all those who helped manage last night's rapidly-changing situation, including the City Parks staff, Whitefish Transportation, members of the Whitefish Police Department and Flathead County Sheriff's Office, and the crews from Big Sky Fireworks and Whitefish Marine.

    Recognized by the New York Times as one of America's Top-10 Fireworks Displays, the Whitefish Chamber's annual 4th of July spectacular is launched from a floating barge some 300-feet off the shore of Whitefish City Beach, on beautiful Whitefish Lake! 

    The fireworks display begins at dusk (appx 10:30 p.m.), but City Beach will be bustling all day long with pre-fireworks activity including kayak and paddleboard rentals, a variety of food and snack vendors, and plenty of space to spread-out and relax.

    Each year the Chamber looks to our business and philanthropic communities to help fund the show, as well as the insurance, ads, promotion, downtown shuttle busses and other related expenses, which total more than $20,000. Your contribution to the effort is much appreciated … thank you for helping to keep our community’s 4th of July tradition alive!   Click <here> to donate.

    July 4th at Whitefish City Beach
    Whitefish, MT- The City of Whitefish Parks and Recreation is preparing for another fun-filled 4th of July celebration at Whitefish City Beach with fireworks and food vendors to celebrate the occasion.
    There will be numerous vendors at Whitefish City Beach on July 4th including shaved ice, mini-doughnuts, ice cream, corndogs, and barbecue. Vendors will open in the early evening and stay open until the fireworks start.
    The Parks and Recreation Department would like to remind the beach patrons that the main City Beach parking lot will be closed to allow vendors to set up. Parking will be limited all day in and around City Beach.
    Traffic control will be set up by 7:00 p.m. on roads surrounding the beach area. The boat launch at City Beach as well as the Prevention and Decontamination Station will close at 7:00 p.m. Decontamination must be performed prior to launching in Whitefish Lake for watercraft that have ballast tanks or bags. The boat launch at Whitefish Lake State Park will close at 9:00 p.m.
    The fireworks, presented by the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce, will begin around 10:30 pm and will last approximately 30 minutes.
    The City of Whitefish is encouraging everyone to walk or bike to the beach to help alleviate parking and traffic congestion. The Chamber of Commerce is offering a shuttle, compliments of Rocky Mountain Transportation, from the O’Shaughnessy Center to City Beach from 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
    Please remember that the rules of City Beach still apply during the 4th of July festivities. No dogs are allowed at City Beach in both the beach and park areas. No personal fireworks, alcohol, or glass containers are allowed. Please help us to keep the beach clean and pick up your trash before heading home for the evening. Call the Whitefish Parks and Recreation Department with any questions at 863-2470. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
     
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    Location:
    Whitefish City Beach
    Date/Time Information:
    7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
    Fireworks display begins at 10:30 p.m.  Free shuttle busses run to and from City Beach and The O Shaughnessy Center from 7 to 11:30 p.m. 
    Contact Information:
    Whitefish Chamber of Commerce
    Fees/Admission:
    Free of charge
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