Top 10 Reasons For Thanks

Christopher Dyrland-Marquis  |   Monday Nov. 1st, 2021

                                                                                                                                                                                  photo from @lorisjunkdrawer

As our senses become enamored with the trailing aromas of blistering turkey, cranberry sauce, and Montana State’s impending victory at the 120th Brawl of The Wild football game this fall (sorry, not sorry), reasons for thankfulness pour into our hearts like the contents of Great Aunt Mildred’s gravy boat. From festive community events to the hard work our residents put in every day to make it the best town around, Bozeman offers no shortage of customs to appreciate. Continue reading to consider some of the superb, local reasons for maintaining a thankful mindset this month.

Bustling Breweries
Cold beer is certainly not a product everyone either enjoys or advocates, but for those of us who do find this adult beverage appealing, there is hardly a better place in which to savor it. Whether looking for drinks and dinner at brewpubs like Montana Ale Works on Main Street or setting out to differentiate between subtle craft beer varieties at establishments like the MAP Brewing Company off of Highway 86, you don’t have to go far to find that “just-right” pint! We even have several stops next to Montana State University’s campus for lucky students—Bunkhouse Brewery and Bridger Brewing offer tantalizing beverages to those with an inclination. One note, however, just be sure to drive sober or prepare a designated driver. Why ruin a season of fun with the completely avoidable and unnecessary risks of drunk driving?

Freshly Baked Goods
While only a select audience might enjoy the nuances of an alcoholic draft, who can resist a cupcake? Though it might not be just how Grandma makes them, chances are she learned it from them! These culinary experts pepper the town’s business district and offer varieties of fresh, steaming goods to drool over. On Main Street, Sweet Pea Bakery offers decadent cupcakes and cookies to enjoy. If organic bread is more your scene, eateries like Wild Crumb on North Wallace Avenue offer breads, pastries, and sandwiches to their fair patrons. Bozeman even has its fair share of cake artists too: Frosted by Laura Finley offers a variety of customized creations for a customer’s special event. Drop by and sate your sweet-tooth today!

Coffee Shop Art Galleries
During that lingering cold we tend to always endure in November, nothing thaws out our hands better than a piping hot beverage—preferably a steaming latte or frothy hot cocoa for me! But, a consistent, understated pleasure also exists in our town’s thriving coffee culture: the creative decor of paintings, photos, and other art fixtures that populate many coffee shops’ walls. More often than not, these pieces can be found for sale from upcoming and talented artists in the community, and each shop’s curated display tends to offer different, fascinating selections to muse over. Ghost Town Coffee Roasters by Highway 86 greets customers with detailed canvases of wildlife and a historic, abandoned town. Conversely, on Main Street, Zocalo offers a varied selection of provocative art to appreciate over a warm mug. Add in a meaningful conversation, and artful places like these may just end up being the best five dollars you can spend!

Postcard Backdrops
It’s no secret that the people who live in Bozeman have the privilege of waking up to beautiful surroundings every day. Though necessary activities like driving can become hazardous through the winter, we’re often reconciled by beautiful panoramas that would make anyone else caught in traffic green with envy. But, this sublime beauty doesn’t just happen on its own! Organizations like the Gallatin Valley Land Trust do their part to preserve the beautiful pastureland, rivers, streams, and ecological habitats that made Bozeman the rare jewel it is to begin with. Additionally, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust thrives on donations, so what better way to make a difference than by helping to preserve the natural beauty we enjoy every single day?

Public Land Access
Bozeman is inarguably a unique combination of town/city life and outdoor recreation. It helps for the community to be so close to a variety of outdoor outlets for the restless, whether people de-stress on the surrounding rivers or reservoirs around town, bike along the numerous trails that intertwine through the national forest nearby, hunt for their own Thanksgiving Dinner, or choose to try their luck cross-country skiing up and around our pine-covered hills! As we take off for our exciting escapades into the wilderness, and ultimately come back home to our warm beds when returning, let’s keep in mind how lucky we are to be able to experience such diverse ranges of environments. Not many other places offer such stimulating, year-round recreation to choose from!

Public Service Employees
Of all the conflicts, logistical concerns, and emergencies that Bozeman experiences as a booming ever-growing culture, the one constant we benefit from never takes a day off and works all year long. The public service employees who do their best every day to enhance our communities work tirelessly to ensure that our town remains a great place to live. From the ever-vigilant fire and police departments that respond to developing situations, to the postal and waste management workers who support our infrastructure’s operation—our town’s employees make certain that we can enjoy our lives in Bozeman’s exciting metropolis. If given the chance, be certain to appropriately thank one of these workers for their gumption and consistent hard work!

Charitable Community Resources
At some point in our lives, we’ve all probably needed a little help—either a shoulder to cry on, or other forms of aid to help us get back on our feet. These resources can be extremely inconsistent in many places without existing organizations that dedicate resources to provide a helping hand, but several volunteer-based businesses in town do their very best for anyone who needs help. Fork and Spoon—Montana’s first pay-what-you-can eatery on 7th Avenue—exemplifies the community-focused goal of a social enterprise; few other businesses aim to improve the public good with their earnings! Other organizations like the Gallatin Valley Food Bank rely on volunteers to help supply those in need with fresh food and groceries. These bastions of charity in Bozeman aim to create spaces that the community can always turn to in need, and set out to improve our town even more!.

Exciting Local Activities
What good is living in a place that never has anything to do together as a community? Sure, it isn’t necessary to survive, but hosting ongoing, calendar events year-round is another way that Bozeman breathes life into our town’s culture. If you’ve ever been curious about the different public events that are being hosted, take a look at our event calendar: a carefully curated tool that shows the schedule of most everything happening in our community, be it arts, theatre, or sporting events! Looking for live jazz music? Be sure to attend Red Tractor Pizza’s Friday Jazz Night on Nov. 5th. Interested in fresh produce? The Gallatin Valley Farmer’s Market on Nov. 27th offers opportunities to help support locals at the Gallatin Valley Fairgrounds. Make sure to take a peek at this wonderful tool on our website if you want to participate in the ever-developing events around town!

Friendly Neighborhoods
Living in Bozeman is an experience that isn’t easy to reproduce anywhere else. An odd culture clash between backgrounds and identities forms a vigorous melting pot that all affects the ways we interact with each other. One thing’s for certain though: it’s a town full of friendly faces and unique personal backgrounds. This month might be the perfect time to reach out to some of the people living nearby and build relationships with your neighbors. What better time of year to invite someone over for coffee than when you’ve found yourself the hesitant recipient of all-to-abundant thanksgiving leftovers? Spreading the kindness we see around us, or even what we see missing, is the perfect way to help keep the Bozeman area a fantastic place to live.

Our Loved Ones
Last—but by no means least—let’s dedicate thankfulness for the ones in our lives that support and care for us. Yes, we may not always agree with their choices, politics, or even opinions on the superiority of dark turkey meat over white (it’s totally better and you know it, Anthony), but these are the people in our lives who want what’s best for us regardless. If we take a bit of time this month to appreciate the people in our lives and let them know how we feel, we will certainly have made the fall season one full of thanks, deepened relationships, and a continuing motivation to look out for each other’s wellbeing.

This fall, there’s a lot to be thankful for, and how could we miss it? The place we live offers us a bounty of pleasantries to enjoy. While it can be tempting to focus on the negatives, a quick look around us reveals that so much of what we take for granted actually adds a lot of positive value to our lives. Recognizing these wonderful assets of our community not only builds our perspective but helps us to spread greater joy to the ones around us. So, here’s hoping your Thanksgiving this month can extend beyond the dinner table and help to spread a spirit of cheer to everyone you meet!

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