Missoula’s Summer Traditions Returns

Missoula’s Summer Traditions Returns

Downtown ToNight Expands Hours, Out to Lunch Adds Weekly Bar Starting June 5 & 6 at Caras Park


The Heart of Missoula comes alive for the summer thanks to the launch of the 38th Annual Out to Lunch and 23rd Annual Downtown ToNight on June 5 and 6 respectively. The Missoula Downtown Association (MDA) – partner organization of the Downtown Missoula Partnership – brings a robust schedule of bands, local food trucks, kids’ activities, and community connection to Caras Park for 26 weekly admission-free events.

As the longest-standing outdoor music and food festival in Montana, Out to Lunch has been a center point for Downtown summertime activities since 1986. Held every Wednesday in June, July and August from 11am-2pm, attendees can enjoy live music, activities for kids, and authentic, local food and beverage offerings from 14 food trucks and vendors plus a new weekly bar sponsored and provided by the Rhinoceros.

Taking the stage for the first week is MoneyPenny, featuring a mix of blues and rock, MoneyPenny hails from Missoula and has previously played the River City Roots Festival stage. Other Missoula bands taking the stage throughout the summer at Out to Lunch include John Floridis, Josh Farmer Band, Zoo Town Music, the Ed Norton Big Band, Spruce Alley Sally and many more.

Out to Lunch is supported by season-long sponsors DCI Engineers, First Interstate Bank, and NorthWestern Energy, along with Mountain Broadcasting (Mountain 102.5 and The Drive 103.7/107.9). Over 30 other local businesses and organizations are also supporting Out to Lunch for the 2024 season.

Taking place every Thursday in June, July and August with newly expanded hours from 5-9 pm, Downtown ToNight was created in 2001 to help fill the high-rising demand for events in Downtown Missoula. Similar to Out to Lunch, attendees can experience live music, playtime for kids, and 20 food trucks serving up dinner for hungry Missoulians, along with enjoying adult beverages for those ages 21 and older at the beer and wine garden, sponsored by Zip Beverage.

Kicking off the series on stage is The Idle Ranch Hands. The full lineup for Downtown ToNight includes bands such as Mudslide Charley, Tanner Laws Band, Kyle Curtis & the Promised Lands, The Dead and Down and Joan Zen. One of the stage highlights for Downtown ToNight will be local favorite WARPONY to help celebrate Fourth of July festivities in Downtown.

Back this summer on Thursday nights is the Missoula Makers Collective Market at Downtown ToNight. The market will feature 30+ rotating vendors weekly. Over the course of the summer more than 70 makers will participate. More information about the market can be found at www.mslamakers.com or by emailing [email protected].

Downtown ToNight is supported by season-long sponsors Opportunity Bank, TDS Fiber and Windfall, as well as Missoula Broadcasting (Trail 103.3 and The U 104.5), and Zip Beverage. Over 30 other local businesses and organizations are also supporting Downtown Tonight for the 2024 season.

“Out to Lunch and Downtown Tonight are events that tug at the heart of the community, bringing people Downtown and celebrating what makes Missoula unique,” said MDA Board President Jed Liston. “This year, we’re excited to announce some fantastic updates to enhance these beloved traditions. Downtown Tonight will now run from 5-9 pm, giving everyone more time to enjoy the summer evenings along the river. Plus, we’re adding a weekly bar to Out to Lunch, making it an even more appealing midday break for Downtown employees and visitors. These updates, along with the new additions to the Beartracks Underbridge Playground, create the perfect space to enjoy these events.”

Each week local food vendors will serve a variety of food and beverages. This year, the community can choose from Bake Sale, Banh Missoula, Big Dipper, Clark Fork and Spoon Kitchen, El Cazador, Horchata, Isla’s Lemonade, Kamoon Arabian Cuisine, M-80 Chicken, Madeline’s Mediterranean, Mountain Berry Bowls, Pattie Wagon, Pelz MT, Ragheef Arabic Flatbread, Raven Mad Concessions, River City Eats, Roots & Bitters, Servin’ Thyme, Sista Elmmy, Stuffed 406 and The Crepe Lady.

Downtown ToNight also features a Beer and Wine garden thanks to Zip Beverage. Local service providers Badlander, The Press Box, and The Rhino will serve cocktails in addition to beer and wine for eight nights, while the MDA will host the bar a total of five nights to help raise additional funds for Downtown projects and programs.

Folks interested in purchasing food and beverages for their employees or guests can pre-purchase Caras Cash in $5.00 increments at the Downtown Missoula Partnership Office (218 E. Main), which can be used to purchase food and beverage from any of the vendors and food trucks at the events.

While parking is widely available throughout Downtown, the increase in traffic to Caras Park during both events is a great opportunity for attendees to plan ahead and utilize various means of transportation and parking options. For those driving a personal vehicle, the first hour of parking is free in the Central Park Garage (128 W. Main), the Park Place Garage (201 E. Front), and the ROAM Garage (305 E. Front), all of which are a 5-minute or less walk from Caras Park. Parking is free evenings and weekends in public parking spaces in Downtown (which includes leased spaces).

The Passport Parking APP is another easy and convenient way to park, pay, and be on your way. Download the Passport APP on Android or iPhone, load up your credit card, and enjoy the convenience of paying with a cell phone whenever you’re in Downtown during paid parking hours.

It’s also easy to bike and walk to and throughout Downtown Missoula, and there are plenty of bike racks throughout the city center. Additionally, Zero-Fare Mountain Line buses all come Downtown, so anyone can ride any of the routes to the Transit Center, which is just four blocks from Caras Park.

For more information on the Out to Lunch Summer Series, contact Hanna Reese, DMP’s Membership & Events Director, via phone (406-543-4238) or email ([email protected]).  For more information on the Downtown ToNight Summer Series, contact Kristen Sackett, DMP’s Marketing & Events Director, via phone (406-543-4238) or email ([email protected]).


June 5 MoneyPenny Historical Museum at Fort Missoula
June 12 Patti Nolan & the Undeniables Mismo Gymnastics
June 19 John Floridis Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre
June 26 Justin Harris & the Pocket Aces Habitat for Humanity Missoula
July 3 Josh Farmer TBD
July 10 Big Sky Mudflaps All Nations Health Center
July 17 Western Union Child Start Inc, Head Start
July 24 Spruce Alley Sally The Clay Studio of Missoula
July 31 Zootown Music Carroll-Henderson School of Irish Dancing
August 7 Ed Norton Big Band CASA of Missoula
August 14 Champagne Sunday National Wildlife Federation
August 21 Justin Case Band Traveler’s Rest Connection
August 28 Wildlands Families First Learning Lab


June 6 The Idle Ranch Hands Clay Studio of Missoula
June 13 Blue Point Carroll-Henderson School of Irish Dancing
June 20 Rocket to Uranus Traveler’s Rest Connection
June 27 Mudslide Charley CASA of Missoula
July 11 Best of Missoula Band-TBA National Wildlife Federation
July 18 Tanner Laws Band Learning with Meaning
July 25 Desperate Electric Child Start Inc., Head Start
August 1 Kyle Curtis & The Promised Lands SPARK!
August 8 Vinyl City Band Families First Learning Lab
August 15 North Fork Crossing Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre
August 22 The Dead and Down Historical Museum at Fort Missoula
August 29 Joan Zen Mismo Gymnastics


In summary, the Out to Lunch and Downtown ToNight events alone draw over 50,000 people to the Heart of Missoula throughout the summer. You can learn more about these not-to-miss community events at www.missouladowntown.com.

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