Big weekend on tap in the Ruby Valley

While the summer fun is spread out around southwest Montana this weekend, local residents and guests are in for a treat with the small-town festivals between Twin Bridges and Sheridan on Saturday for the Floating Flotilla and Fish Fantasies and the 2012 Sheridan Summer Festival and Car Show.

The festivities will kick off Friday evening at 5 p.m. in Sheridan with the barbecue dinner and street dance hosted by the local volunteer fire department auxiliary and Swimming Pool Club. Whitehall band Double Dare will play an irresistible variety of music ranging from country, classic rock and blues while revelers enjoy refreshments from the beer and wine garden.

Local business owner and event organizer Macel Anderson said in years past the barbecue served over 200 plates of food. Last year the street dance was scheduled for Saturday but was forced to shut down due to evening thunderstorms. While participation and turnout has varied from year to year, Anderson said the street dance is always a good time.

The fun will continue on Saturday with the Fourth Annual Ken Steiner Car Show bringing in all types of classic, restored and antique automobiles. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with the parade at 10:30 and winners announce later in the afternoon at 3:30. The Kiwanis Park on Mill Street will be filled throughout the day with live music, vendors, kids games and bingo as well as a beer garden and Swimming Club barbecue.

Meanwhile, just down the road in Twin Bridges the Floating Flotilla water parade will begin on the Beaverhead River just about the time the parade in Sheridan will end. The beloved community tradition usually brings in between 10 and 20 floats, said Twin Bridges principal Aaron Griffin, with a $500 cash prize put up by local businesses awarded for first place.

“It’s not too late to get your float,” Griffin said. “That’s a big prize.”

Last year the floating parade was cancelled due to high water, but Griffin says this year should be a spectacle as community members and Twin Bridges alumni float the short distance from Riverside Park to Jessen Park.

Other highlights will include a three on three basketball tournament in Jessen Park as well as live music, kids games, duck race down the Beaverhead and a scavenger hunt. Evening activities consist of an alumni dinner at the Twin Bridges Multi-Purpose Gym and live music at the Blue Anchor Bar.

On Sunday, Jackson’s Garden in Sheridan will hold church services at 9 a.m. followed by brunch from 10 a.m. to noon that also serves as a fundraiser for the garden.

For more information about what might be the busiest weekend in the Ruby Valley this summer, call Macel Anderson at 842-5790 in Sheridan or Aaron Griffin at 684-5005 in Twin Bridges.

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