The Chokecherry, a small, maroon-colored fruit with a puckery taste grows wild in Montana. The plants begin to bloom in June and the fruit ripens in August. The reddish fruits are used in making syrups, jams, jellies, wines and many other culinary treats.

The first Saturday after Labor Day, central Montana ushers in the return of fall with the annual Chokecherry Festival, held in Lewistown, the geographical center of the state. When the then Governor Stan Stephens came to Lewistown to witness the Festival in 1991, he enjoyed it so much he declared Lewistown the Chokecherry Capitol of Montana.

The Chokecherry Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and is scheduled for Saturday, September 6th, 2014. The festival is attended by more than 4,000 people from far and near, enjoying the event and soaking up the beautiful scenery of central Montana. It's a time of wholesome fun for everyone from tiny tykes to Grandpa.

Adessa Campbell entertains at the Lewistown Chokecherry FestivalThe day begins with the Kiwanis Club serving an outdoor pancake breakfast on Main Street and Second Avenue, complete with bacon, sausage and of course, chokecherry syrup!

From the Chokecherry culinary contest, pit spitting contest, and live entertainment to the children's activities and 5k run/walk and 10k run, the day is packed with opportunities for food and fun! Main street is literally lined with arts & crafts booths and food vendors offering a variety of gifts, baked goods, fresh garden fare, raffles and much more.

We hope you join us - take a walk down our historic Main Street and experience the hospitality of the area. Don't leave until you've tried all of the food, enjoyed the entertainment, bought all you can carry and competed in the pit spitting contest. Bring a friend and enjoy central Montana at it's finest.

For more information, contact the Lewistown Area Chamber of Commerce, 408 N.E. Main Street, Lewistown, Montana. Phone: (406) 535-5436, Email: lewchamb@midrivers.com.