August 2, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
The Swan Lake Huckleberry Festival will take place Saturday, Aug. 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Flathead National Forest Swan Lake Day Use Campground just south of MT Hwy. 83 mile marker 72.
The annual festival offers made-in-Montana merchandise from 30 vendors, a huckleberry pancake breakfast, musical entertainment, a huckleberry baking contest, food and beer gardens, all-day raffles, a silent auction and children's games, all on the shores of one of northwest Montana's most pristine lakes.
New to this year's festival are the "Hungry Five," a Flathead Valley brass ensemble. The band will play from 10-11 a.m., and crowd favorite Roy Wilhelm will provide music and song from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
An ongoing raffle offers chances to win prizes donated by more than 60 Flathead and Lake County merchants and businesses. Additional raffles are for a huckleberry-themed basket worth $100, a luxurious chenille throw valued at $225 and a child's fishing gear package.
Merchandise includes quilts and other needlecraft items, jewelry, wood crafts, handmade fishing nets, ceramics, art works, stained glass and other unique offerings. The silent auction for original art works in watercolors and oils, folding camp chairs and antiques and collectibles will close at 4 p.m.
A highlight of the festival is the Huckleberry Baking Contest. Innovative recipes are entered each year, and judges will award prizes of $25, $15 and $10 for first through third places, respectively. This year's judges are huckleberry aficionados Blue Funk of Bigfork's Showthyme Restaurant, Kay Bjork of northwest Montana photojournalism fame and long-time Swan Lake resident Cindy Love.
Contest entries must be huckleberry-based and must be a minimum of three servings. Excess entry servings will be sold at the Swan Lake Volunteer Fire Department booth. Judging begins at 11 a.m., so all entries should be submitted before then to the contest location easily found next to the fire department booth.
The Swan Valley Search and Rescue team will be on hand with equipment and literature describing its mission, and volunteer firemen will show children how their truck and team work to keep rural communities safe from fires.
Admission to the festival and parking are free. Festival proceeds will be allocated to non-profit organizations, including the local library and fire department, to charities and to community improvements.
Festival sponsors are the Village of Swan Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Swan Lake Volunteer Fire Department.