• Chester’s welcome sign offers a tip of the hat to the anchors of its economy with a unique creative flair. Photo by Darrin Schreder

    Ready, Set, Go! To Chester: Small prairie town fosters big time creativity

    Story by CAROL BRADLEY
    Photos by DARRIN SCHREDER

     

    David and Shawna Jamison’s family had barely arrived in Chester last summer when Shawna and the four kids discovered, to their delight, a coffee bar at the Liberty County Library, where a cookie and cream ice rage can be had for just $3.

    At the east end of town, a sparkling new swimming pool beckoned. The local arts center offers a 7-foot-long Yamaha piano if anyone cares to practice in style, and should any of the Jamison kids decide to take dancing, Catalina Carlon teaches classes. Her students are no slouches: come December, a group from Chester and Havre will head to San Diego to perform at the Holiday Bowl and march in a parade.

    Despite a population of just 850 or so and a setting that feels light years from city life – on U.S. Highway 2 along the Hi-Line, halfway between Havre and Shelby  – Chester is a magnet for music and art.

     

    Ready, Set, Go! To Chester, Montana

    Chester is located on U.S. Highway 2 halfway between Havre to the east and Shelby to the west. Chester has approximately 850 residents and serves as the county seat for Liberty County.

    Chester is home to the Liberty Village Arts Center, the only arts and cultural center for a more than 60 mile radius. The center hosts exhibits and events throughout the year.

    The Prairie Painters, a group of local women artists, are scheduled be featured in an art show in September. In October, the center plans to present its annual quilt show.

    The Liberty Village Arts Center, located at 410 E. Main St., is open Tuesday through Friday from 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

    For more information, visit libertyvillagearts.org.
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