It's such a different feel when you compare where we are now to where we were at this time last year. It's really been uplifting to see announcements about concerts and events returning after being forced to go dark last year. Just this week we had Logjam Presents announce their first show in about a year.....we have the UM Spring Rodeo in action next weekend at the Western Montana Fairgrounds.....and the plan right now is for the Guns n' Roses show to happen at Washington-Grizzly Stadium this summer. And I have to say - it feels good that what I just mentioned is only a few of the events on the calendar right now.

We already saw that restrictions have been relaxed a bit when it comes to farmers markets reopening this year. Both the Missoula Farmers Market and the Clark Fork River Market will be allowed to have hot food and prepared foods, something they weren't able to do last year. Both markets will open for the season on May 1st. And it looks like Missoula People's Market will be making its return after not holding the event last year.

The People's Market postponed their opening last year - and eventually released a statement saying the 2020 season would be canceled in order to ensure the safety of vendors and customers. But they ended up doing a cool thing on social media where they shared vendor info and encouraged people to shop virtually.

A Facebook post today has details of the Missoula People's Market planning to open on June 5th. The market will run 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and takes place on W. Pine, just off Higgins. More details will be announced as the date gets closer but it's a given that there will still be some COVID-related restrictions.

But it's just another little piece of normal back in our lives - and we'll take it!

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Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

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