Bitterroot celebrates Independence Day with fun, reflection


STEVENSVILLE, Mont. - July 4th was a festive day in the Bitterroot Valley. Folks will be nursing sunburns after a day on the water, in the woods, and in local parks.

At a celebration in Stevensville, American Legion Post 94 presented the colors at a community potluck. It was the annual 'Pig-nic.'

"We're barbecuing pork roasts and mushrooms," said Stevensville Fire Chief Jeff Motley.

It's a tradition with Stevensville firefighters. The Stevensville Civic Club hosts the event, which draws hundreds. Everybody brings a dish to complement all that pork.

Lines for food were long, and everybody was hungry.

Participants said when everybody contributes food, it makes for a tastier picnic.

"It's more like a little family," said Civic Club Treasurer Tonya Eckert. "A big family."

The biggest summer holiday gave many people in the Bitterroot some downtime.

Lake Como, north of Darby, always attracts huge crowds.

Jenn Turner took her kayak out for an early morning run on the lake. For Turner, the holiday is time for fun and reflection.

"I served in the Navy for 5 years," she said. "So any time something patriotic comes up, I always get a little twinge."