An Ri Ra in Butte

BUTTE- It's time to grab your kilts and your dancing shoes, the An Ri Ra Irish Festival is back in the Mining City.

Friday afternoon, organizers raised the Irish flag outside the Butte Courthouse to welcome guests to Butte from as far away as Ireland. This year is the 17th annual festival and all the performances will be happening at the Original Mine Yard.

Festival volunteers and vendors were hard at work Friday afternoon setting up for the festival. This year, there will be eight different bands and performers from across the world. Performances kicked off at 3 PM on Friday.

Festival goers were out claiming their favorite seat on the lawn bright and early, Friday morning.

Heavy rain and a few storms are expected over the weekend and festival organizers say it's a gamble each year with the weather. They've learned to improvise in case of storm delays and organizers say they're always watching the forecast to ensure everyone’s safety.

Co-Chair of the An Ri Ra lecture series Helen Patterson said, "Today it's kind of like Ireland it's a little overcast, it's a little grey, and we've had a few soft showers. We just pray for the best and we hope the performances can still go on despite the weather."

The festival is free and open to the public but festival organizers say donations are appreciated to keep the festival going each year.

Depending on the weather, performances go until 10:30 PM on Friday and start up again Saturday morning. Click here for a full list of events.

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