America And Missoula Mark Big Milestones - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

America And Missoula Mark Big Milestones

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MISSOULA -

America turns 238 years old on July 4, but who's counting?

Actually, Missoula is marking a pretty big birthday of its own.

Food, crafts, the fire department, mini horses-- it definitely gets rowdy at Fort Missoula for July 4. This is the thirty-eighth year they've hosted the fun.

"It's our way to give back to the Missoula community. We are here to tell Missoula's story and so one thing that we can do is invite people out here," said Carolyn Thompson, the assistant director of the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula.

The timing couldn't be better, sort of. One hundred and fifty years ago, give or take a few days, Missoula was founded.

"There's not really a good date to say this is when Missoula actually started, so we're kind of taking 2014 and 2015 as kind of this two year long celebration," said Nicole Webb, the curator of collections at the museum.

Back then it was called Hellgate Village. Then, when industry came to town, they moved closer to the river and started calling themselves Missoula Mills. Eventually, they dropped the Mills. An exhibit opened this year to tell Missoula's story and will stay open through next year.

That's really what July 4 is all about: learning where we came from as a town, and as a nation.

"Each building has a history and part of Missoula's history and a part of Fort Missoula's history," said Thompson.

To plan a party like this, Thompson says she has to start in January.

Some years they have had as many as 5,000 people come out to Fort Missoula to celebrate the fourth.

Festivities wrapped up around 4:00 p.m.

 

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