“Town Crier” newsletter – Briefs from the Region (1) – 4/17/20
Last summer’s Montana Folk Festival, the 12th installation hosted in Butte, brought some 175,000 people to the “Richest Hill on Earth” in southwest Montana. The impact of such an influx is profound, garnering an estimated $8-10 million for the local economy, $130,000 in donations to the festival and $100,000 in beer and wine sales. Now, Butte will have to go without, following the April 17 announcement that the 13th annual Montana Folk Festival has been canceled due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. The decision follows that of the April 2 announcement by organizers of the Red Ants Pants Festival in Sulphur Springs, which decided to sideline the event’s 10th anniversary due to COVID-19. The event, which brought some 18,000 people to the small ranching community in 2019, has doled out over $110,000 in community grants over the past decade, as well as funding for various girls leadership programs. New dates for the Montana Folk Festival and Red Ants Pants Festival are July 9-11, 2021, and July 22-25, 2021, respectively.