NewsGreat Falls News


Margarita Meltdown returning to Montana Expopark

Margarita Meltdown Preps.png
Posted at 5:48 PM, Jan 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 11:35:55-05

GREAT FALLS — We may have made it through our first major cold spell, but it’s Montana and it’s January which means there’s probably plenty more winter to come. Whatever the weather holds, there’ll be a definite beach like atmosphere at Montana ExpoPark on Friday night when Eagle Mount hosts its annual Margarita Meltdown.

The Electric City’s biggest beach party is about to begin. Just two weeks after the Pacific Steel and Recycling Four Seasons Arena was the temporary home of broncs and bulls, it’s being transformed into a tropical paradise for the Margarita Meltdown, the biggest fundraiser of the year for Eagle Mount Great Falls

“Eagle Mount provides adaptive recreation programs for people with disabilities,” said Eagle Mount Executive Director Deb Sivumaki. “We work with all doctor diagnosed disabilities and all ages. We work with toddlers all the way up to 102 years old. That's been our oldest person we've ever served. We have 11 different activities that we do. Most people know us by our horse program or our skiing up at Showdown.”

Other programs and activities offered by Eagle Mount include toddler and social programs, dances and bowling. Sivumaki says the only regular programs not being offered at this time are sled hockey and indoor rock climbing.

Margarita Meltdown attendees can enjoy island themed food from Clark and Lewie’s and drinks, dancing to music by Patrick and the LVB and new this year, a silent auction in honor of the late great Jimmy Buffet who served as the inspiration for the event when it began in 2006.

“He had a cabin fever Margaritaville,” said Sivumaki. “We had a cabin fever silent auction, online auction during COVID to help raise money to keep us going. So why not put that in here? We're going to try it for this year.”

Last year, the much-anticipated event returned after a covid caused hiatus, marking a sort of welcome back party for an organization that just celebrated it’s 33rd anniversary.

“This particular event coming back out with it in 2023 not only allowed people to know that Eagle Mount was back, they got to come back out,” said Sivumaki. “You know, we're all different than we were, but we're all still having the same fun time. This event, for us, it means everything.”

Community members and personnel from Malmstrom Air Force Base were busy Wednesday setting up the beach theme for Friday’s event which begins at 5:30 p.m. and continues until midnight.

Sivumaki says the generosity of the community has kept Eagle Mount going strong for 33 years and they couldn’t get by without the help of dedicated volunteers.

“In 2023, we served 455 individual people with over 3600 hours' worth of fun,” said Sivumaki. “And we couldn't do that as a small staff of six without the help of volunteers.”

Tickets and tables can be purchased online through Thursday. People can also buy them at the door or at the Eagle Mount office.