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Western Heritage Days changes will offer direct ties to Stevensv - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Western Heritage Days changes will offer direct ties to Stevensville's beginning

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STEVENSVILLE - Organizers of this year's Western Heritage Days in Stevensville say the event will have some direct ties to the place "where Montana began."

Western Heritage Days has always been aimed at celebrating Stevensville's unique place in Montana history  -- from the Bitterroot homeland for the Salish tribe to the St. Mary's Mission and the town's pioneer ancestry dating back to the 1850s.

But this year, festival organizers are excited to have a direct tie to historic Fort Owen on the north end of town. Thanks to the generosity of new ranch owner Myla Yahraus, people going to Western Heritage Days this year will be able to take wagon rides from town out to the state park.

"We will be having wagon tours for the public to travel from the Forest Service site in Stevensville, down the walking path and into Fort Owen State Park. We will also have two individuals from State Parks giving tours, several different times on Saturday afternoon," said Desera Towle with the Friends of Fort Owen. "It is a far cry from a military fort because it never was a military fort. It was a trading post."

The popular Chuck Wagon Cookoff is also being moved to a new location next to the Catholic Church with organizers promising a great time for the entire family.

Western Heritage Days will take place from June 22nd through June 24th Click here to view a schedule of events.

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