Weekend update

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Lions fishing derby

The Sunriser Lions 48th annual ice fishing derby takes place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Smith Lake west of Kalispell.

There will be prizes in several categories, including fishing rods and tackle to the first 80 kids that catch a fish; $100 gift certificates for the largest pike and largest perch; as well as hourly drawings.

The Lions trailer will have hot drinks, chili, hot dogs and hamburgers along with a warming fire and s’mores.

Entry fees are $7 for adults, $3 for kids, and $12 for families.

The money raised will benefit the Sunriser Lions kids fish pond projects.

Gateway fundraiser

“Rock Around the Clock” New Year’s Eve dance with live music by Zino & the Bel Aires takes place from 7:30 p.m. to midnight Monday at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1840 U.S. 93 S., Kalispell.

Enjoy ’50s music and enter the ’50s costume contest. There will be food and vintage games, food. Tickets are $50 per person.

The event is a fundraiser for the Gateway Community Center. For tickets, call 752-7266 or go online to eventgroove.com. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Polar Bear Plunge

The annual Polar Bear Plunge will take place Tuesday, New Year’s Day, at The Raven in Woods Bay on Flathead Lake.

Registration, food and drinks start at 10 a.m. The parade starts at 1:45 p.m. between The Raven and The Islander Inn. The actual plunge takes place 2 p.m. sharp with an after-party across the street at Montana Bonfire, with live music by The Bad Larrys.

Parking for the event is limited and carpooling is highly recommended.

First Day Hikes

Montana State Parks is sponsoring two First Day hikes Jan. 1 in the Flathead Valley to start the new year. These informative, guided hikes are open to all ages and are family friendly. Wear weather-appropriate clothing, bring a water bottle and ice cleats or snowshoes if the trail conditions are snowy or icy.

• Flathead Lake State Park-Wayfarers, Bigfork, 10 a.m. — Meet at the Flathead Lake Ranger Station and enjoy a 1- to 2-mile, moderate hike around the park. Children should be prepared for hiking uphill. Participants will have the opportunity to catch their breath and enjoy beautiful scenic vistas with a few short stops along the way. Dogs on leashes are welcome. For more information, call 837-3041.

• Lone Pine State Park, Kalispell, 5 to 7 p.m. — Enjoy a moderate, 1.75-mile guided hike through the park or take a short, self-guided hike to the overlook at night to enjoy the city lights. Hikes begin and end at the picnic shelter with a campfire and warm drinks. Snowshoes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Headlamps or flashlights are recommended. Dogs welcome on leash. To register, call 755-2706, ext. 2.

Annual bird count

The 20th annual Kalispell Bird Count takes place Sunday.

The 15-mile diameter count circle includes Evergreen, much of the Flathead River corridor including the Owen Sowerwine Natural Area, Happy Valley, Herron Park, and the Kuhn’s Wildlife Area. This count also includes homes, bird feeders, and favorite birding spots of Audubon members.

A group breakfast kicks off the event at 7 a.m. at 4B’s Restaurant (formerly Finnegan’s), 660 E. Idaho St. in Kalispell. The group will finish assigning circle segments and field teams at that time.

If interested in participating, contact Pete Fisher at fisherpete88@yahoo.com or 406-250-9624.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, go to www.flatheadaudubon.org.

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