BUTTE – Butte’s annual Covellite International Film Festival is moving to the beginning of summer rather than the end.
“I think the date change in the future is really going to be good for us and really help us get more attendance,” said event CEO Don Andrews.
For the past three years, the week-long festival started at the end of September. Organizers believe the new late-June start will encourage more travelers to stop in Butte and help the economy.
“They’re going out to restaurants and bars, they’re buying souvenirs, they’re going on tours and we want to see that happen more,” said Andrews.
With the cancellation of Evel Knievel Days last year and no sign of its return, there’s been a costly gap in Butte’s summer festivals.
“Huge loss for the city. I thought it was a lot of fun for a lot of people, that’s gone now, but with the film fest coming that’s going to add to the summer,” said Butte Director of Recreation Bob Lazzari.
Andrews added, “We could never replace Evel Knievel Days. I doubt we’ll ever have a snowmobile jump or anything.”
And another reason they want to hold the festival in late June is to avoid unexpected snow days like Tuesday, so that the weather doesn’t keep people away and they stay in town and explore the city.
“We want to see just hundreds of people out walking the streets, going into shops, getting food, watching movies of course,” said Andrews.
Organizers estimate the film festival has brought about 10,000 people to Butte over the past three years and brought in $3-5 million to the city in that same time. The festival begins June 19 and runs to the 23rd.
Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News