Elsie Quigley enjoyed a melting huckleberry ice cream cone at the River City Roots Festival on Saturday, where she escaped the sun for a moment under the shade of a tree near the sidewalk.
Quigley was having what any 3-year-old would describe as the perfect day, sporting a purple bucket hat that matched her lavender-colored ice cream mustache.
"Huckleberry is my favorite flavor," she said, smiling.
Quigley spent the morning at Dragon's Hollow park with her mom, Meggan Quigley, before passing by an array of activity booths for kids at the Family Fun Fest as they meandered up the street to enjoy the early hours of the festival on Saturday.
At the main stage, the two danced to the Whizpops, a local children's band, and then refueled with pizza and ice cream from the nearby food trucks.
The two didn't plan to stay at the festival long because Elsie wanted to visit her dad at work at the smokejumper base, but others were just getting their day started.
Lynn Fawcett and Jeff Durkel drove from Kalispell to attend the festival. Durkel said he doesn't attend the festival every year, but he's enjoyed seeing a number of artists over the years, like Sam Bush and Railroad Earth.
This year, Fawcett and Durkel attended the farmers market and then arrived at the festival early and set up chairs to watch the Whizpops. Fawcett, who works as a private nanny, said with enthusiasm that she loves the kids band and knows all the words to their songs.
"When he said the Whizpops were playing, I said 'Yep, we’re coming,'" Fawcett said.
The two partook in some people watching after the show while another band, Cascade Crescendo, got ready for its set. The afternoon featured a Guy Clark Tribute, Shawn Camp and Verlon Thompson "Tribute to an Old Friend," followed by Acoustic Syndicate as the day turned to night, and then Saturday's headliner, Leftover Salmon.
You have free articles remaining.
The temperatures rose Saturday afternoon and some attendees started imbibing cold beer while others chowed down on food truck fare.
Morgan Adamsen dished out egg rolls and noodles under the Sa-Wad-Dee Thai tent. He said it's his 10th year working at the festival and that this year has been a steady turnout in comparison to recent years.
Adamsen said his favorite part of the festival is hanging out with the "vendor family." He said many of the local vendors have developed friendships over the years between regular events like Out to Lunch and Downtown Tonight.
Adamsen made sure the other vendors had enough Thai food on their plate, while also grabbing pizza and dishes from his friends' trucks and tents.
Overall, Adamsen said he likes being able to work and listen to music at the festival and said his only complaint is that Fridays are typically slow until people get off work.
"We're just kind of waiting in the sun until then," he said.
Just around the corner from the food court, festival goers browsed a few rows of tents with paintings, pottery, photography and other handmade goods from local artists.
Holliday Jeremaissen, who owns Holliday glass, sold painted dishes, trays and decorative works made from upcycled bottle glass. Jeremaissen said it's her second year at the festival and said sales have been good. She said Friday started slow with the rain but then picked up, with a rush that caused the vendors to stay open past 7 p.m.
Hundreds of people filled the street Friday night as they danced to the Honey Island Swamp Band, who headlined the night and played until 10:30. The band asked the crowd to dance, jump, sing along and clap and for the most part, the audience did.
Some of Friday night's attendees woke up early Saturday to participate in a run that began at 8:30 a.m., although the festival's attendance often peaks at night, when attendees gather to eat, drink and dance and enjoy another beautiful summer night in Missoula.