BUTTE — In just a few days, the intersection at Park and Main in Uptown Butte is going to be loaded with people celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. And local police know that with the holiday falling on a Friday and large crowds expected—well, they can also expect some shenanigans.
“Sometimes the leprechauns are a little restless on that day, so we normally have more than the average amount of arrests, let’s just say that,” said Butte Sheriff Ed Lester.
Butte police will have more than 20 officers on duty that day, with help from the Montana Highway Patrol.
Foot patrols of six to eight officers walking among the crowds have proven effective over the years.
“We can get to a disturbance, if there is some kind of an argument or a fight, we can get there and settle it down; it keeps it from escalating and makes it better for everybody,” said Lester.
For those who want to avoid potential rowdiness Uptown, the Handing Down the Heritage event is going on at the Butte Civic Center starting at 6:30 and is a family-friendly environment of Irish music and dancing.
“And so it’s a great place to come to get away from the bacchanalian orgy that becomes Uptown Butte on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Handing Down the Heritage organizer Tom Powers.
Ben Rothbard attended his first Butte St. Patrick’s Day last year and is looking forward to this year’s revelries.
“It gets a little rowdy, but nothing that’s really crazy. Yeah, it was enjoying to watch and see and it was something I’ve never seen before,” said Rothbard.
And he doesn’t plan on getting arrested.