BUTTE — The kids in Butte's Headstart Program got their St. Patrick’s Day going a little early on Thursday with a visit from the Edmonton Pipe and Drum Band.
The band is happy to be back in Butte after missing the past two St. Patrick’s Day celebrations due to the pandemic.
“It’s marvelous, we’ve missed all the friends we’ve made here, we see all the friends and families and fans for years—decades,” said Pipe Major Dale McDonald.
The Pipes and Drums Band of the Edmonton Police Service have been regular guests for Butte’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration since 1984. They’ve returned this year and are playing at different venues around the city and enjoy coming back each year.
“It’s the warm welcome that people in Montana give us when we come, we love to see the smiling faces and people celebrating and people shaking hands,” said McDonald.
The kids at the Headstart school were treated to an early concert.
“They loved it. I was watching their little faces and the smiles and the clapping, the wiggling and dancing; they absolutely loved it,” said Bridgette Raybould of Headstart.
McDonald added, “The celebration, the people coming out, the handshakes, the friend conversations, just the appreciation for the music we provide, makes our efforts all worth it, the travel time, the time practicing.”
It’s important to reiterate that the band is made up of Edmonton police officers. Two Edmonton police officers were shot and killed in the line of duty early Thursday morning while responding to a disturbance call in Edmonton.
The band members said they are still trying to process the loss of their fellow officers. And while the police drum and pipe band plan to continue to spread joy by playing music in Butte this St. Patrick’s Day, we should note that they will be playing with heavy hearts.