One year ago, floodwaters were just beginning to recede in the Musselshell Valley, and the region is still recovering from the damage.
Low-lying areas in the town of Roundup were inundated for weeks. Highways were impassable for days at a time. Bridges, back-country roads, irrigation systems and (dear to the hearts of local people) large sections of the Roundup RiverWalk Heritage Trail and the County Fairgrounds were scoured out.
Concerted efforts by local governments, churches and non-profit organizations like the Musselshell Valley Community Foundation helped house and feed people driven from their homes. Americorps workers were enormously helpful during the cleanup. Now money from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is flowing through county government channels and financing much of the infrastructure repair.
People in the Valley are ready for some summer celebrations.
Melstone Heritage Day
The first celebration will happen three days after Summer Solstice, 35 miles downriver from Roundup. It’s Melstone Heritage Days, an event begun in 2008, the 100th birthday of this small town, which is situated near the spot where the east-flowing Musselshell turns abruptly north, eventually to join the Missouri.
Saturday, June 23, is the day. The overall sponsor is Melstone Area Foundation (also founded in 2008), with various groups and businesses hosting a variety of events. These include:
• A barbecue and bake sale by the Melstone Volunteer Fire Department and Quick Response Unit - a fundraiser for a group that responds to fire and medical emergencies over an area of 735 square miles;
• A gathering of Classic Cars at Jake’s Garage, with a parade at 2:30 p.m.;
• A farmer’s market, an art show, a jam session, and games for children;
• Old-fashioned fountain drinks at the Lazy JC Drug and Hardware;
• A display of wedding dresses through the years;
• Self-guided history tours.
The Melstone Area Foundation’s ongoing activities include a community garden, a harvest dinner, Main Street beautification and “big idea” projects, and a Coyote Derby.
Contact Hester Jacobs at 406-356-2279 for more information.
Music, art, rodeo in Roundup
On the 3rd and 4th of July the annual Roundup Independence Days Extravaganza (RIDE) will host a number of acts, both homegrown and imported, including the popular western swing band Asleep at the Wheel on the evening of July 3.More details will appear in next week’s Outpost.
More the evening of July 3, after which Roundup’s reliably fabulous fireworks show will light up the sky. All day on the 4th, there will be more activities for young and old alike, and more music and dancing in the evening, featuring the Eagles tribute band Hotel California.
RIDE events will take place at the City Park—as they did last summer—uptown from the floodplain. However, two other events on July 3rd will unfold down at the river.
The Fairgrounds have been sufficiently rehabilitated to serve as a site for a locally produced rodeo – the first in many years - from 1-5 p.m., while just across the river, along the road to the Fairgrounds, tents will rise for a regional arts exhibit, with music and food and drink, organized by Roundup Arts and Culture, a committee of the aforementioned Community Foundation.
Called Art on the RiverWalk, this event will commence at 2:30, after the rodeo has begun, and remain open until 6:30, so that rodeo fans can stop by on their way back uptown for RIDE events beginning that evening. Art on the RiverWalk is a fundraiser for new projects on the Trail as well as a celebration of area artists such as Joe Trakimas, Greg Eiselein, George Anslie, the late Bill Stockton, and many more.
One of those artists, Gregory Wilhelmi, has donated a large print to RIDE - number 1 of 1 - made from a painting that depicts a 4th of July parade on Roundup’s Main Street in the early years of the last century. RIDE is selling raffle tickets at $5 apiece (five tickets for $20) and will draw the winner of the print on the 4th of July.