Bundle up, Flathead Valley residents, and powder your noses: Tonight you’ll have a chance to appear on network television and attend a free outdoor concert.
Up-and-coming country music singer Sarah Darling will perform a free show in downtown Whitefish Wednesday night, and the community is invited to attend and be filmed for a special network television event.
The one-hour concert will take place on Central Avenue between First and Second streets at 9 p.m. Guests are encouraged to arrive at 8:30 p.m.
“We invite the community to join us in supporting a major television production that will showcase our downtown and surroundings,” Jan Metzmaker, director of the Whitefish Convention and Visitor Bureau, said in a news release.
Her organization, in partnership with the Montana Office of Tourism and the Glacier Country Regional Tourism Commission, helped bring the film crew to Whitefish.
Darling has been touted by the New York Times as a “sophisticated songwriter” with a “crisp, powerful voice,” and has been dubbed “Music City’s Newest Darling” by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Her single, “Home To Me,” is the top-selling digital single by a new female artist in more than a year.
Signs announcing the televised production will be posted on the street, and those who appear on camera may need to sign an appearance release.
The street closure will begin at 4 p.m.
On her Facebook page, Darling wrote Sunday that she had been “SWORN to secrecy — but can now tell you that I’ve been selected to appear on one of the MAJOR TV Network’s most popular shows!!!”
Those in the know can’t reveal the name of the show, said Lisa Jones, the visitor bureau’s public relations manager, who signed a confidentiality agreement.
“It’s on the street,” she said of the show’s name, “but we’re liable not to discuss it with any media.”
Jones did say that the program is on ABC, and Darling said on her Facebook page that the show will air after the first of the year.
Stephen Carbone, aka “Reality Steve,” a blogger who writes about several reality television shows on his website, RealitySteve.com, said on his Twitter account Oct. 5 that “The Bachelor” will film in Whitefish.
“SPOILER: After next rose ceremony on Sunday, ‘Bachelor’ filming heads to Whitefish, Montana,” he wrote.
The Hollywood Reporter reported in June that producers of “The Bachelor” had settled a lawsuit against Carbone, who was accused of soliciting and publishing spoiler information from the show’s cast and crew. Carbone agreed not to have further contact with cast and crewmembers, according to the news story.
Officials in the local tourism industry hope the area will see an increase in off-season visits, thanks to the exposure Whitefish and the Flathead will receive on the show.
“Many thanks go out to the Whitefish downtown businesses and city staff who have helped us with the logistics for this special televised performance by a rising music star,” Metzmaker said. “The future exposure our town will receive from this TV shoot will be a tremendous benefit for our local economy.”
The visitor bureau and tourism organizations have put down money and in-kind donations to get the shoot here, Jones said.
“It’s for exposure,” she said. “We are showing the Glacier area and Whitefish in the fall, when we want people to visit here. You notice that September was really nice and busy? Well, we want the off season to go into October.”
The crew will be filming several B rolls when it visits Northwest Montana, Jones added, and the visitor bureau and tourism organizations will be able to use that footage for commercial purposes.
“They are million-dollar cameras, state of the art, that we would not be able to afford otherwise,” she said.
For more information about the visitor bureau, visit www.explorewhitefish.com. For more information about Darling, visit www.sarahdarling.com or Facebook.com/OfficialSarahDarling.