BUTTE – Butte’s Fourth of July parade has changed some over the years – but some things have stayed the same.

“Well, Butte loves a parade,” said Ellen Crain the director of the Butte Public Archives. “We started every major event in history with a parade.”

Fourth of July parades go back to the turn of the 20th Century in Butte.

Famed frontier painter Edgar Paxson designed a magnificent archway over Montana Street for the parade to honor Spanish-American War veterans. The early parades often involved political speeches.

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“Well, you’d have an orator come and talk about democracy or the great country that we live in or something that happened in the 1700s about freedom,” Crain said.

Even parades in recent history brought some special guests.

“Barack Obama, when he was running for president came and spent Fourth of July here and he was in the parade,” Crain said.

While Butte’s parade used to be held Uptown, it’s now held along Harrison Avenue and it still sparks a lot of attention.

“Butte throws a great party and we all know that and I think the parade itself attracts people who enjoy community events and I think that it’s fun to come here,” Crain said.

And the tradition continues.

MTN’s John Emeigh