Thursday August 11th

Craig Johnson - Writer

5:00 Craig Johnson Meet and Greet (limited to VIP ticket holders) – CM Russell Museum
7:00 Craig Johnson author presentation – Gibson Band Shell

Friday August 12th

Tommy Castro and the Painkillers

9:00 pm  Tommy Castro and the Painkillers

Paul Thorn

7:00 pm  Paul Thorn

Melissa Lynn Band

5:00 pm   Melissa Lynn Band

Saturday August 13th


9:00 pm   Shinyribs

Jason Boland and the Stragglers

7:00 pm Jason Boland and the Stragglers

Suzy Bogguss

5:00 pm Suzy Bogguss

Chuck Mead

3:00 pm Chuck Mead

John Roberts y Pan Blanco

1:00 pm John Roberts y Pan Blanco

Montana Author Panel

When:  Saturday August 13, 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Where:  Gibson Bandshell

Cost:  Free event – Bring chairs or a blanket!

Join us at the Montana Authors Panel where three Montana authors will discuss their work and its relation to the West. The panel will start at 10AM at the Gibson Park bandshell. Time will be provided for audience questions.

Panel Authors

Dave Caserio is the author of This Vanishing and Wisdom For A Dance In The Street, and is co-editor for I Am Montana: Student Reflections on Identity and Place. He is part of Humanities Montana Conversations and the Young Poets program. Recent publications: Welcome to the Resistance: Poetry as Protest, Unearthing Paradise: Montana Writers in Defense of Greater Yellowstone, Poems Across the Big Sky, Volume II, and feverdream magazine.

Kristen Inbody is a writer for Benefis Health System. She is the former Montana Mystique reporter for the Great Falls Tribune, author of “Montana State Parks: Complete Guide & Travel Companion,” a returned Peace Corps volunteer, a world traveler, and a farm girl from Choteau. Inbody reported from Kodiak, Alaska, Cody, Wyo., Washington, D.C. and across Montana.

Craig Lancaster is the author of nine novels and a collection of short stories, a body of work that includes the High Plains Book Award-winning 600 Hours of Edward and his most recent novel, And It Will Be a Beautiful Life (2021, The Story Plant).

His work has been honored by the Montana Book Awards, the Utah Book Awards, the Independent Publisher Book Awards (gold medal, the story collection The Art of Departure), as well as many other citations.

Craig was a longtime newspaper journalist. He worked—mostly as an editor—in such states as Texas, Alaska (twice), Kentucky, Ohio, California (twice), Washington, and Montana. He wrote stories, edited copy, oversaw departments, spent a season covering the Oakland Raiders and, in general, had a whale of a time for nearly 25 years. In 2013, he left daily journalism to write full time. Nowadays, in addition to his own literary work, he’s a senior editor at The Athletic, helps others reach their writing and publishing dreams through Lancarello Enterprises, and serves as the senior editor/design at Montana Quarterly, where he’s also a frequent contributor. He lives with his wife, novelist Elisa Lorello, a dog named Fretless and a cat named Spatz.

Thursday August 11th – Saturday August 13th:

Gibson Park Geocache Scavenger Hunt for ages 5-14 and their families

When:  All Weekend

Cost:  Free Event

Where:  Gibson Park

Description:  Scavenger Hunt

  • We plan to make the scavenger hunt available the last week of June and maintain it until after the Ruckus (exact dates and approval from Parks & Rec pending)
    This will be a super-easy geocache scavenger hunt. It assumes someone in each family has a smartphone and phone plan so they can use it away from Library wifi.
    Participants will find 3 tiny, magnetic nano caches, each with a number inside. Participants will find a small safe chained under a bench near the flower gardens. They will solve a riddle taped to the top of the same (Something like: The first is last, the last in first, the middle stays the same) to figure out the correct order for the numbers they found and reveal the safe’s combination. They will open the safe and remove a prize, something inexpensive like a hiking-themed water bottle sticker or compass keychain.)

Poetry StoryWalk:  Throughout Elks Riverside Park

When:  All Weekend

Cost:  Free Event

Where:  Elks Riverside Park

Description:  Poetry StoryWalk

  • The StoryWalk display will consist of poems from Poems Across the Big Sky II: an anthology of Montana Poetson outdoor laminated signs strategically placed along walking paths and stopping areas of the park.

Thursday August 11th:

 VIP Author Reception

When:  Thursday August 11 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm 

Cost:  Requires VIP ticket
Where:  C. M. Russell Museum

Description:  VIP Author Reception with Craig Johnson

  • no host bar and appetizers with Author Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson Author Talk

When:  Thursday August 11 7:00 pm 

Cost:  Free Event

Where:  Gibson Park Bandshell

Description:  Craig Johnson author talk

  • Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire mysteries, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. He is the recipient of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, and the Prix SNCF du Polar. His novella Spirit of Steamboat was the first One Book Wyoming selection. He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population 26.

    Join us for a lively presentation about writing and the West.

Friday, August 12:

Kids’ Art Activities:
When:  Friday August 12 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Where:  Elks Riverside Park
Cost:  free event

Description:  Kid’s Art Activities

  • Chalk mural-all ages—facilitated by Sam Houston
  • 1 Big Community Lego Build table-age 3 and up
  • Hula hoop making and decorating-Age 1 and up can play with hula hoops, ages 5 and up can help make them. Note: we will need an outlet for a hair dryer for this project.

Puppet Show:

When:  Friday August 12 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm
Where:  Gibson Bandshell
Cost:  free event

Description:  Markie Scholz puppet show:  The Tall Tale Matty Bow

  • The Tall Tale of Matty Bow” spins a tall tale of the Dakota Territory when the West was wild and free. The heroine Matty Bow is a young girl kidnapped by coyotes in the Dakota Territory. She prefers the company of her friends Pete the prairie dog, and Mica the coyote. Matty and her friends keep watch over a human family. When the evil Hi McGreed decides to steal the farm from the family, only Matty and her friends stand in the way.

When:  Friday August 12 between Music Sets
Where:  Elks Riverside Park
Cost:  free event

Description:  Poetry Readers between Music Sets

Saturday, August 13

ARTSFest Gibson to Library Footprint Painting Walk

When:  Saturday August 13 all day
Where:  Sidewalks between Library and Gibson Park (4th Avenue North and 3rd Street)
Cost:  free event

Description:  Sidewalk Painting with ARTSFest Montana

Trilogy Challenge

It’s a Trilogy Challenge disc golf tournament hosted by Dynamic Discs- each participant receives 3 un-released discs, a towel, and a mini marker.  The round is played by everyone using only those 3 discs.  Should be a blast.  Here is the registration link.

Big River Ruckus Pickleball Tournaments 2022

The City will be hosting 2 types of pickleball tournaments on Saturday, August 13.  Please register for only one of the tournaments.

  1. The first is for the casual or beginner pickleball player.  This tournament will be a round robin that will provide each player with a new teammate and new opponents every game.  The fee will be $20.00 per athlete and no prizes will be given.  Maximum number of participants is 24.
  2. The second tournament will be competitive in nature.  Two player teams must be established prior to registration. The first round will be a round robin to determine ranking followed by a single elimination.  The Champions will receive a gift certificate to a local restaurant.  The fee will be $40.00 per team. 

Register at

Artsfest Montana

10 am to 3 pm  Artsfest MONTANA Mural Artists Workshop with Cameron Moberg $25 includes lunch  – come dressed to paint!  Pre-registration required by August 12 at


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