KALISPELL – As visitors continue to flock to Kalispell and the Flathead Valley, the Kalispell Convention & Visitor Bureau is changing its involvement in two popular events that it helped create to focus on additional tourism growth.
The Montana Dragon Boat Festival, the first of these events, has become a favorite since its founding in 2012, drawing thousands of people to Flathead Lake for two days of exciting races. The event has contributed more than $6 million in economic impact to Kalispell and the surrounding area.
But starting in 2019, the Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce will take over as presenter of festival and it will return to Wayfarers State Park in Bigfork, where it was held from 2012 to 2014.
Another major Kalispell event, however, won’t be returning. Due to the continued uncertainty of winter weather, the Montana Pond Hockey Classic is being discontinued. After being forced to cancel the event in 2016 and 2018 due to unsafe ice conditions, event organizers decided it was best to pull the plug and focus on other initiatives.