Who knew that waiting on a bench outside of the Sweet Pea Festival office would be one of the nicest encounters I would have all week. Three of us were there to pick up wristbands and posters. Turns out I was the 'newbie' of the group, having lived in Bozeman for only 30 years.

I was first on the bench in the Sweet Pea office foyer, sitting by myself. A gentleman came up the stairs and pleasantly assessed the scene quickly, "you waiting for your tickets too?" He looked every inch of a middle aged Bozeman guy, and one that can probably run marathons.

After a few minutes of chatter about how crowded 'our town' was this summer, we deemed the worst part wasn't the traffic but not being able to get into our favorite lunch spots. (First world problems, eh?) However, in a locals-bonding moment we realized both of us had Pickle Barrel for lunch yesterday. Win.

Another guy rolled up the stairs, again looking every part a Bozeman dude. Younger, and immediately joined the conversation. He's most looking forward to Karl Denson's Tiny Universe during this year's Sweet Pea Festival. I then quickly asked if he had ever caught them at The Zebra Below over the years. Yes, of course he had.

He had attended every Sweet Pea, the first being when he was 6 years old. The older gentleman chimed in that he met his wife a a Sweet Pea Festival in the mid-80s. I then had to prove my own local-ness by lamenting about the old Taste of Bozeman, which required tickets being purchased in advance for your favorite restaurant for the sit-down on Main Street. (In 2001, that morphed into the more casual Bite of Bozeman.)

The office opened, we got our tickets and posters and bid each other a good week. Simple, local, nostalgic and wonderful. Thanks you guys for a lovely walk down memory lane.

Sweet Pea Festival 2021 happens August 6th, 7th and 8th in Lindley Park in downtown Bozeman.

Learn more about the history of the Sweet Pea Festival here...

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