BUTTE - During these dreary, cold days of late winter, Butte always had something to look forward to.
“We had St. Patrick’s Day to look forward to. You got big green things, it makes you realize spring is going to come and to have that pulled out from underneath you — it hurts,” said Monica Evans, owner of Cavanaugh’s County Celtic.
Officials canceled Butte’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade this year as a precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many Uptown businesses – including Cavanaugh’s County Celtic – will feel the impact of losing the parade.
“Economically, it’s an arrow to my heart. I don’t know how I can pull it out. I don’t,” said Evans.
The very first parade was held in Butte in 1882. In 1918, the parade was canceled due to the Spanish flu pandemic.
“People were told to stay indoors, don’t congregate in public spaces, stay away from each other, so the parade was canceled in 1918 for the same reason that it’s been canceled this year,” said Kim Murphy Kohn with the Butte Public Archives.
There will certainly be an economic impact to losing this parade, which brings thousands of people to Uptown, Butte. But this town does know how to bounce back from difficult times.
“It puts a damper on our spirit for now, but Butte is Butte and we’ll bounce back and we’ll have a bigger celebration next year,” said Kohn.
Other events canceled include the annual St. Patrick's Day Brunch and the Handing Down the Heritage event Tuesday evening at the Butte Civic Center.