River City Roots Fest Reimagined: Top 10 Ways To ‘Support Our Roots’

Local & State Media

July 30, 2020




With the State of Montana still in Phase 2 Re-opening and COVID-19 counts still rising, the Missoula Downtown Association has re-imagined River City Roots Festival as a comprehensive campaign to encourage Missoulians to celebrate their roots in a more personalized experience, as opposed to showcasing local music and art for the public to enjoy together.


As a substitute of the typical live music and art festival in the streets of Downtown Missoula, ‘Support Our Roots’ week will feature seven days of activities that individuals and families can do to support their community, local businesses and organizations. Highlights of the week-long schedule feature Americana/Roots music on The Trail 103.3 FM, a specially-curated Unseen Missoula Music Tour, the “Run for Missoula – River City Ramble” virtual race, a virtual Sidewalk Sale, and a River Clean-Up in partnership with the Missoula PaddleHeads, among others.


Supported by First Interstate Bank, Mountain Line, Providence St. Pat’s, DJ&A, Dick Anderson Construction, and Missoula Broadcasting – The Trail 103.3, the ‘Support Our Roots’ week will also promote the “Top 10 Ways to Support Our Roots” with a focus on art and music, local food and beverage, environmental sustainability, and shopping local.


“When we announced in May that we would be pivoting Roots Fest this year, we anticipated we could do some small live music and art show activities, but the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our ability to come together to celebrate the city we love,” said Ellen Buchanan, committee chair and member of the Missoula Downtown Association Board of Directors. “One of the most important characteristics of this community is that we care deeply about each other. Altering Roots Fest to a more intimate celebration for individuals and families seems in line with the ways in which we care for and support each other. While everyone is eager to go out dancing in the streets, this moment in time requires us to pause and think about our roots from a different perspective.”


River City Roots Fest was created in 2006 as Missoula’s signature celebration and welcome festival for University of Montana students and their families. With a typical draw of 15,000 attendees from all across the country, the admission-free art and music festival is a favorite for many and has won several awards over the years.


“Festivals and events are an important part of our culture and our economy, bringing people and life to the streets,” said Linda McCarthy, Executive Director of the Downtown Missoula Partnership. “This is an incredibly difficult time for our community, our state, and our nation, and many Downtown businesses have struggled during the last five months. Roots Fest 2020 won’t be what we had hoped, but it will encourage people to support what they love about our community.”


The full, week-long ‘Support Our Roots’ schedule will be published the first week of August at www.rivercityrootsfestival.com and www.missouladowntown.com and activities will run from Monday, Aug. 24 to Sunday, Aug. 30. Partners in producing the event include City of Missoula, Climate Smart Missoula, Missoula Paddleheads, and Run Wild Missoula.


For more information or to schedule an interview, contact the Downtown Missoula Partnership via phone (406-543-4238) or email ([email protected]).



Downtown Missoula: Connecting Our Community!

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