Surely every Independent reader has some fond memory of a legendary party. (The infamous Aber Day keggers of the ’70s near Miller Creek no doubt come to mind for many UM alums.)
Last Saturday, Missoula resident Chris Nowak threw a party he hoped no one would ever forget, complete with three geodesic domes, a dude battling 10-foot-long Tesla coil lightning bolts, multiple DJs, a 60-foot party bus and a huge laser beaming to the M on Mount Sentinel.
“We wanted to take it to the next level,” says Nowak. “We wanted people to come here and experience something they have never experienced in their lifetime.”
Nowak said he wanted the party to be a community event—that’s why he approached local authorities weeks prior to the event.
“We worked really hard to contain the party and make sure we did everything right,” he says.
Nowak says he talked to every neighbor within earshot of the party—which took place across from Wal-Mart on Lower Miller Creek Road—and handed out invitations and earplugs. But that didn’t stop the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department from calling an end to the revelry around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
According to Nowak, more than a dozen deputies ushered partygoers—many of whom had arrived at the party via the bus—out on foot just as the party was taking off. Nowak himself was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct and released later that night.
Deputies reportedly told Nowak they had received complaints. (Sheriff’s department officials did not return several calls from the Independent.) Nowak says he’s confused, because the last thing he wanted was a conflict.
Mike Sehestedt, chief civil deputy county attorney for Missoula, confirmed that Nowak approached him about a permit, though none was required.
“I told him I couldn’t give away the rights of his neighbors. Similarly, I can’t prohibit him from having a gathering,” says Sehestedt. “It’s a question of how it’s conducted, the number of people and the amount of noise.”
Sehestedt says no citations were issued.
Nowak wants the matter cleared up so he can begin plans for his next legendary bash.