Cowboy Up in Big Sky
Rodeo is now a summer highlight in Big Sky, with two events set in July. The Big Sky Community Rodeo features some of Montana State University’s finest up- and-coming rodeo athletes competing in a variety of disciplines. Food trucks and a street dance are part of the fun. Also in July, some of the best professional bull riders in the country visit for Big Sky PBR, scheduled July 21–23, 2022, at the Big Sky Town Center. The event also brings in top entertainers to per- form after the nightly bull riding competition.
Eye in the Big Sky
Just two weeks after it was installed at the top of Lone Peak, an artificial intelligence camera detected a plume of fire in the Taylor Fork drainage 13 miles away, soon to be called the Shedhorn Fire. The artificial intelligence camera was installed in early September by the company Pano AI as part of a pilot program to test its ability to detect wildland fires in the Big Sky area. On September 27, the camera detected smoke and sent a signal to company headquarters, which analyzed the threat, determined it was an actual fire, and then sent a 911 alert to the Big Sky Fire Department. The Shedhorn Fire ultimately burned 75 acres until it was controlled in early October.
Public Art in Transition
Gibbous, a kinetic sculpture by Pedro de Movellán, is now installed in the roundabout on Town Center Avenue. De Movellán is one of the world’s most well-known kinetic sculptors. He’s famed for his detailed works that deliver unpredictable motion. Meanwhile, Menhir, the sculpture by Bozeman artist Zak Zakovi that has long stood in the roundabout, will be moved to become the first sculpture in the new Big Sky Sculpture Trail between Wilson Plaza and the Ousel Falls trailhead. A trend to mix trails with public art is sweeping the Intermountain West, and Big Sky is on point. Look for more sculptures along the trail soon.
Big Sky Resort’s most iconic chairlift has been transformed. The winter sports community got a first look at the big, fast, and silent lift when Swift Current 6 debuted on opening day. The high-speed chair is now the fastest six-person lift in North America—also the quietest and most technologically advanced. The project to replace the 25-year-old lift that is the main artery out of the base area has been two years in the making. The chairs were ex- panded from four-person to extra-wide six-pack chairs outfitted with heated seats and bubbles to protect skiers from wind. The new Swift Current 6 will cut ride times nearly in half, from 12 to seven minutes. “In upgrading our chair network,” says Stacie Mesuda, Big Sky Resort public relations man- ager, “Big Sky is investing in the best technology available. Along with Ram Charger and Powder Seeker, the new chairs are wind-resistant, comfortable, and fast. We’re excited to have them at the Biggest Skiing in America.”
A Better Home for Summer Music
Len Hill Park, a 3.3 acre open space in the heart of Big Sky Town Center, reopened this summer after much renovation, cementing it as the area’s go- to concert venue. Recent improvements provide an amphitheater setting for concerts and theater. Len Hill Park will be the location of the popular summer Music in the Mountains concert series. Add in the new ice rink and BASE community center that’s nearing completion, and Len Hill Park will be at the center of things.
More Shows to Catch
Offering world-class music, theater, dance, and more, the expanded Warren Miller Performing Arts Center schedule brings art and entertainment to Big Sky. It’s an intimate “pin-drop” venue to catch international and local talent. Shows at the center include stand-up comedy, live performances by bands and solo acts, classical ballet, and even outdoor performances. It’s everything from Shakespeare to Guitar Night. To learn more about upcoming shows, visit www.warrenmillerpac.org.