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Free Irish festival back in Butte after two-year hiatus

Posted at 4:09 PM, Aug 03, 2022

BUTTE — After a two-year hiatus, organizers of Butte’s An Ri Ra Festival are hoping to make this year’s event bigger and better.

"You know it feels real good to know that we can put it back together. I will say it’s been a challenge simply because of the two years we’ve been out," said Frank Walsh, An Ri Ra executive committee member.

An Ri Ra will be returning on August 12, 13, and 14 to, what Walsh hopes, a big crowd to enjoy what the Irish festival has to offer

"We hope to get a lot of people jammed into the Original this year. We’ve got a great lineup coming in," said Walsh.

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After a two-year hiatus, organizers of Butte’s An Ri Ra festival are hoping to make this year’s event bigger and better.

Since 2003, An Ri Ra has been an annual celebration of Irish culture which includes music, free beginner language classes, and, of course, Irish dancing.

This year’s lineup includes Irish music masters and Dublin Gulch, there will be Irish dancers, and it will be the second year for the road bowling tournament will be held which will start Saturday morning.

Walsh says that organizers are continuing to look for volunteers to help out during the festival.

"We could always use more volunteers just like the folk festival and stuff so yeah, we could use the help," said Walsh.

Walsh says he enjoys the strong Irish heritage that Butte has which makes the festival even better.

"Such a strong Irish heritage here and according to past performers, An Ri Ra is what Irish festivals used to be," said Walsh.