BUTTE – The band Girsa, like many people, have traveled far to be in Butte this weekend to perform at the An Ri Ra Irish festival.
The annual event has spent the last 16 years keeping alive the history and impact of Irish culture on the Mining City.
“To remind us of the storytelling and the songs and the dances that our grandparents had and we want to make sure that we don’t lose that. That went to hand it over to our next generation,” said one of the event organizers Lori Maloney.
With this year’s cancellation of Evel Knievel Days, An Ri Ra is now the longest running festival in the Festival City. Butte Chief Executive Dave Palmer said the city needs the much need economic boost of the summer festivals.
“It really does showcase our community and the people fill up the hotels and motels and the restaurants, so it’s excellent for the economy of Butte, Montana,” Palmer said.
Sure the festival brings music, dance, and culture to Butte, but it also brings money. Businesses like Cavanaugh’s County Celtic see an uptick in customers coming into town, perhaps buy a new scarf.
“It’s been quite steady most of the day here today, you know, some people buy a lot some people by a little but all good for the economy of Butte,” said David Brilliant, who is helping out at Cavanaugh’s.
An Ri Ra runs all weekend at the Original Mine Yard and is free to the public.