The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls has released its schedule of interactive presentations that are scheduled to take place from April through June.

 “We are so grateful for our partnership with the Lewis and Clark Foundation and Great Falls Museums Consortium that is providing for a lot of the programming we have scheduled this spring,” said Center Director Duane Buchi. “There are several presenters who will share their personal story from the eminent packer and outfitter ‘Smoke’ Elser to former Forest Service smokejumper and survivor of the Higgins Ridge Fire, Dale Graff.”


Thursday, April 11, 6-8 p.m. Come out to the Great Falls Public Library for a sneak preview of the Sunday Museum Sampler.  Participants will see and experience a teaser of what to expect at all 11 museums and historical sites throughout Great Falls during the Sunday Sampler set for April 14 from 12 – 4 p.m. See Great Falls Museums Consortium - Great Falls Montana Tourism (

 Sunday, April 14, 12-4 p.m. Great Falls Museum Sunday Sampler. FREE admission to every Museum and Interpretive Center in Great Falls.  Plan to visit a favorite or take the challenge to visit at least three, answer their scavenger hunt questions, and have a chance at one of 12 different prizes.   See  Great Falls Museums Consortium - Great Falls Montana Tourism ( for more information.

 Friday, May 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Know-Before-You-Go Wilderness Recreation Preparedness.  Mark your calendars for a content-packed evening for anyone interested in learning how they can prepare for an opportunity to recreate in Montana’s vast array of wilderness.  This 2-hour seminar includes presentations from a licensed, practicing exercise physiologist, dietician, and physician’s assistant.  Additionally, participants will hear from a certified Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) instructor.   Collectively this team will highlight practical considerations for preparing your body physically, gear considerations, navigation fundamentals, and emergency medical planning. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for this FREE event.

 Friday, May 10, 7-8:30 p.m. Higgins Ridge PBS Film Screening and question/answer session with Higgins Ridge survivor, Dale Graff.  You won’t want to miss this unique film screening.  On Aug 4, 1961, a team of smokejumpers found themselves in a truly ghastly situation stuck in the middle of a raging wildfire with no escape.  Because of the bravery of a skilled helicopter pilot, who set out in the Idaho backcountry to search for the men in the flames and smoke, a dozen survivors – now in their 80s – remember the fire they thought might be their last.  Following the film, Dale Graff will take questions and share stories of his experience.  Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for this FREE event.

 Saturday, May 11, 4-5 p.m. Hush of the Land book reading and storytelling with Eva-Maria Maggi, PhD, and Arnold (Smoke) Elser.  Hush of the Land is an inspirational memoir that chronicles the six-decade quest of packer and outfitter Arnold “Smoke” Elser to protect wild lands by bringing thousands of people deep into the mountains of Montana on horseback. With limited financial means and while still in college, the young man from Ohio decided against a promising career in forestry and chose instead to share his love of wilderness with city dwellers by working as a professional outfitter.  During this event, co-author Eva-Maria Maggi, PhD, will read excerpts of the book and Smoke will elaborate in story.  Signed copies of Hush of the Land will be available for purchase immediately following the program.

Friday, June 21, 7-8 p.m. Keith “Moki” Hipol, master storyteller and active member with the American Mountain Man Society will thrill participants in story as he brings three of America’s notable mountain men, George Drouillard, John Colter, and Jean Baptist to life.  All three of these men likewise served with great distinction as members of the Corps of Discovery.  Don’t miss this wonderful evening of story and adventure.   This FREE event will open seating at the outdoor amphitheater at 6:30 p.m.  Contact the Interpretive Center at 406 727-8733 for more information.

Saturday, June 22, 9-4 p.m.  Save the date to join us in commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition!  Come and enjoy food, displays, demonstrations, special guest speakers, and activities for the whole family, and so much more.   Watch for additional details as the date gets closer.   (

 Call the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at 406-727-8733 for more information on any of these events. Click HERE  for hours and more information about the Center.

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