What makes a community? A look at what’s great about Great Falls

What makes a community?

What makes it tick, what excites its residents, what brings them out for fun or civic engagement?

What makes them upset, what inspires them to work toward improvement?

Every town has things to celebrate and things to improve.

All towns have their own character, a unique vibe or community fabric that defines them in some way.

This week marks eight years since I moved to Great Falls and in a few months, The Electric will celebrate it’s fourth anniversary.

In all that time, I haven’t quite been able to put into words what defines Great Falls, so I went looking for it again.

As a fresh start and some positivity at the end of one difficult year and going into one that will likely be challenging, I asked a few local business owners and Great Falls Greats winners a few questions about why they do business here, why they stay and what’s unique about out community. 

With the help of Erin at Erin Schermele Films, we set out to get to the heart of our community and created this video.

It’s The Electric’s holiday gift to you, Great Falls, with our best wishes for a year that we make great together.

Thanks to Mike Hallahan at Enbar/The Block, Seth Swingley at the Mighty Mo Brew Pub, Kristina Remsen at Klover and Heather Kunz at Broadwater Coffee Brewing Company for sharing their thoughts and to NorthWestern Energy for sponsoring the project, and to Speaking Socially for the assist with their drone footage.

In June, I launched Great Falls Greats, a contest of the best of the best in Great Falls for food, drink, shopping, activities and more.

In that contest, I included a wild card category asking readers what they thought was the best thing about Great Falls. 

The question garnered a wide variety of responses but the overwhelming majority said “the people,” “community,” “friendly people” or some variation thereof.

I’m inclined to agree. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. This community has embraced me and my efforts with The Electric. Especially this last year as more and more of you have found The Electric, bought ads, subscribed, sent donations and just general notes of support.

The website just about doubled page views in 2020 over 2019 and that tells me that local news matters to this community.

It feels more like home every day and I’m proud to call this home and grateful for what this community offers and love watching it come alive.

You’re all why we do what we do and that’s what makes this community great.

Missed Great Falls Greats 2020? Here’s a look at the contest, the winners and the business profiles. We’ll be back again with Great Falls Greats 2021 this summer.

Great Falls Greats

Great Falls Greats 2020 Winners

Readers share what makes Great Falls great

Great Falls Greats 2020

Celebrating three years of The Electric, and introducing Great Falls Greats

Great Falls business in profile