Bozama, Montana (Boz) has become a destination for tourists, with a city that’s seen the rebirth of its former life as a coal-mining town and a place of the outdoors.
Located near the Colorado River in a small, rustic town of fewer than 1,000 residents, Bozamas people are mostly from the Rocky Mountain region, though locals are also drawn by its outdoor recreation opportunities.
For the past five years, Bozes have hosted dozens of festivals, including the annual Buffalo Wild Wings Festival, a bison walk through the city, and the annual Big Bozfest, which features hundreds of buffalo.
There are plenty of outdoor festivals, too, with the annual Bozmas Weekend being held in Bozapalooza, a popular outdoor festival that includes a bike race.
It’s not uncommon to see a group of people dressed in traditional clothing and holding buffalo heads.
A group of bison roam through the park, and if the weather cooperates, the herd can even take the scenic route through the town.
In recent years, there’s been a boom in bozamas tourism, with hundreds of people visiting every year, said Jason Miller, a Bozoma native who was born in Bozo and now lives in Boise.
“We have people from everywhere coming and coming, and we have families coming here, and there’s an abundance of people who want to stay here,” he said.
The town has a long history in Montana, and it has a rich history of cultural events, from the Native American culture of Bozans ancestors to the Bison Festival that takes place each summer.
“The town was built over a hundred years ago, and that’s where the people from Bozimas roots lived,” Miller said.
Bozis people, Miller said, are also an inspiration to the city.
“Bozimis people are always trying to learn from the other tribes and trying to work together to create something that’s unique to Bozomas culture,” he explained.
Miller said Bozmoses culture is centered around buffalo, which are prized for their strength and stamina.
The city’s buffalo is found in the town’s most prominent cultural institution, the Bozas Memorial Park.
A plaque at the park honors the buffalo, and Miller said the town is working to keep it intact.
Bozanians have been celebrating buffalo for hundreds of years, Miller noted, but the community is also excited about the idea of taking it back to its roots.
“There’s a lot of pride in this community to take back that buffalo, so there’s no shame in taking it out and showing the world what it’s all about,” he added.