The fourth annual Front Range Yoga Festival will once again bring together yoga enthusiasts, food vendors and live music in Choteau on June 10, 11 and 12.
After an online-only event last year due to health concerns related to COVID-19, festival organizers are thrilled to be back in person – and thrilled to announce they’re expecting 200 attendees, the most they have had to date.
“We sold out more tickets and rooms at Stage Stop Inn in about six weeks,” said Ro-sanne (Balasabas) Lockhart, owner of Front Range Yoga, LLC. “I’m really excited for this year. We’ve always considered the feedback after festivals, and using that we’ve made some changes that I think will be really good.
One of these changes was to extend the festival to three days. With so many people traveling from far and even out of state to attend the event, many had to miss some activities due to travel time constraints. With the festival now extended to three days, yogis have more flexibility to attend whatever classes they want.
Selling tickets early also allowed Lockhart to do a little extra prep, she said. “We had more time to devote to other things. For example, I spent an entire half day meeting with restaurants and giving them information sheets to let them know about the crowds that are coming,” she said. “I wasn’t able to do this before, and it was nice to meet more community members and keep them informed.”
The lineup of 25 instructors teaching 50 lessons is diverse enough to cater for all interests and levels of expertise. “Some of the classes I’m excited about are ‘Intro to Ashtanga’ which is a very special practice – I’ve tried to have one every year – and then we have a lot of extra classes this year that aren’t strictly yoga but are well rounded with health and wellness. We’ll have ‘In-tro to Thai Massage’ and a nutrition course, for example,” Lockhart said. “The lineup of instructors is so strong this year, I guess this year is the best it has been.”
The yoga festival has always had added perks like massages and guided hikes that attendees can pay for, and this year is no different. Additions this year include guided hikes, massages, facials, brow laminations, lash lifts and baby goat yoga.
New this year, Lockhart (who also works as an attorney) also held a special conference for members of the Montana State Bar to meet continuing legal education requirements and then enjoy the festival, called “CLE and Breathe “.
Community members who have not purchased a festival ticket are still encouraged to enjoy a community lunch on Saturday from noon to 1:30 p.m. and two evenings of free live music. Dining options throughout the weekend include all of the restaurants and cafes in Choteau as well as many out-of-town vendors and food trucks.
“I know Copper Creek Coffee has a special menu. And we will have the Great Falls Purple Gold Acai food truck on Friday and Great Falls Nourish will serve the community lunch and also host a pop-up restaurant,” Lockhart said. She also added that she hopes attendees enjoy all the great food, shopping and hospitality that Choteau has to offer.
Live music will take place on Friday and Saturday around 6 p.m. at the Choteau Pavilion and is also free for members of the community. Haeli and Jaxson Allen will perform Friday with Katie Page opening, and the Choteau Tourism Business Improvement District is sponsoring country band Archertown on Saturday.
For more information on Lockhart and the yoga festival, readers are encouraged to check out the May/June issue of Montana Woman magazine, which features her and explains how she came to live in Montana, her job as a lawyer , mental health and all things yoga. Copies of the magazine will be sold at the festival.
Lockhart came to north-central Montana to work as a law clerk for Shelby’s 9th Judicial District Judge Robert G. Olson. She is now Conrad’s city attorney.