The much-anticipated 96th annual Foresters' Ball is almost upon us! Foresters' Ball is a long-standing tradition by the forestry department at The University of Montana designed to raise money for scholarships. Memorable features include an 1800s logging town built in the Adams Center, a live country band and a plethora of plaid flannel shirts.

Clear your calendars all day for March 22 and March 23. This year's Foresters' Ball, touting the theme "Lightning Striking, Crews 'A' Hiking,'" will include more than just a dance in an old logging town. Also, plans are in place to prevent it from being the infamous drunken debauchery scene that Missoulians have come to expect. Here are five things you'll need to know before donning your flannel this year.

  • Photo courtesy of Facebook

    Friday: Career Fair and Dance

    In an effort to include members of the community who do not want to attend the dance, the forestry department will be holding free events during the day, both Friday and Saturday.

    Friday will kick off with a Careers in Natural Resources Management Fair from 1 to 5 p.m. in the auxiliary gyms of the Adams Center. This is a career fair aimed toward high school students who want to learn more about natural resource management as a career choice. Potential employers, educators and current students will be available to answer questions and shed light on the benefits of an education in this area.

    The ball itself kicks off Friday at 7 p.m. and will run until 11 p.m. Doors close at 9 p.m.

  • Photo courtesy of Facebook

    Saturday: Community Day and Dance

    Saturday will feature the Foresters' Ball's first ever Community Forestry Day. This free interactive event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children and their families are invited to participate in hands-on demonstrations all about the great outdoors.

    The dance will again commence at 7 p.m. and run until 11 p.m. with the doors closing at 9 p.m.

  • Photo courtesy of Facebook

    No Slurring or Stumbling Allowed

    This year's dance is again deemed an "alcohol free" event, and yes, they actually mean it this time. The doors to get in will be monitored by seven public safety officers, along with officials from event security, all looking for overly-intoxicated attendees.

    Breathalyzers will not be used, but no one will be let in if he or she is obviously intoxicated (i.e. slurring words, knocking into friends, or reeking like a 21-run).  Basically, just hold yourself together, Missoula.

  • Photo courtesy of the University of Montana

    Must-See's Inside the Logging Town

    During the week, forestry students will use trees from a forest thinning in the Miller Creek area to turn the auxiliary gyms of the Adams Center into an 1800's logging town. You'd be surprised at all the features they are able to fit in!

    On the way in the doors, attendees can ride the Slurry Bomber slide, which is only featured every other year. Once inside, get married and divorced at Saint Smokey's Chapel for a buck or two. Pay to have your friends thrown into the jail, then grab refreshments at the Pulaski Pub and chili at the Hard Hat Cafe. There will also be a theme-based exhibit to learn more about wildfire management.

    The main attraction, though, is the dance floor. Kung Fu Kountry will be playing live swingin' music on the stage all night.


  • Photo courtesy of the University of Montana


    Tickets will go on sale starting Monday, March 18. Single tickets are $20 and couple's tickets are $35. Tickets can be purchased in the University Center on campus or at the Sunrise Saloon.

    This year, 1,000 less tickets will be sold. The limit per night is only 1,200 as opposed to last year's 1,700. Get them before they're gone!