Custer Gallatin National Forest staff educate festival-goers at a table demonstrating how streams change over time.
BY STEPHANIE LYNN, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
Fishing. Climbing. Paddling. Oh my!
The Gallatin River Festival, held on June 29th and 30th, celebrated all that our watershed has to offer while raising nearly $150,000 to support conservation and stewardship, as well as an additional $60,000 to complete the Gallatin River Forever campaign. A record number of river-lovers flocked to the rebranded, three-day event to enjoy food, music, spirits, and children’s activities at the outdoor fair on Saturday and bid big at the casually classy banquet on Sunday.
“The success of this year’s festival is due to the incredible generosity of all of our supporters,” Ryan Newcomb, director of development at the Gallatin River Task Force, said. “Our sponsors and attendees; donors and volunteers; and an incredible board, festival, and staff team truly pulled together in a labor of love for the Gallatin River.”
Expanded in focus to encompass all the ways in which the community uses the Gallatin, the weekend increased revenue by 50 percent. The proceeds will fund educational programs that inspire stewardship, including three sessions of the youth fly fishing camp; a two-year intensive study of algae on the Gallatin River and the streams that nourish it; and conservation and restoration projects that seek to improve river health and fish habitat.
The event’s success required a village. Nearly 30 volunteers fueled the festival, assisting with auctions, activities, and merchandise sales. A nine-person AmeriCorps NCCC crew was among the do-gooders, providing muscle for the event by helping to orchestrate setup and takedown.
In addition, a long list of supporters championed the Gallatin River Festival by donating cash or auction items, including top-tier sponsors Yellowstone Club Community Foundation, Montana Wild, Boundary Expeditions, the Snow Family, Gallatin River Guides, Lone Mountain Land Company, James Corwin Fine Art, Outlaw Partners, Simms, and Highline Partners.
If you missed the festivities this year, stay tuned for 2020 Gallatin River Festival details here!