2013 Montana Folk Festival most successful to date


2013 Montana Folk Festival most successful to date 7-15-13

BUTTE, Mont. - Crowds packed the Mining City streets over weekend.

Festival organizer George Everett is busy crunching the numbers from the weekend, and while the final numbers aren't in yet, one thing is clear: "It was the most fantastic Folk Festival we've had ever," Everett said. "It set records on all levels."

Everett told NBC Montana that the festival went off without a hitch, but the large crowds had an impact on vendors.

He explained, "The problems we had were good problems, like vendors running out of food and ice."

We checked with police to find out if the increased crowds brought an increase in crime.

Butte-Silver Bow Undersheriff George Skuletich said, "There was a bit of increase in disturbances on Park and Main than usual, but they were between locals who were partying and drinking all day in the sun."

Skuletich also said they had issues with aggressive panhandling, in part because of members of the Rainbow Family who stuck around after the gathering, but explained they expected more people from the gathering.

"We thought we'd get about 500 or so," he said, "but looking at the numbers over the weekend and being Uptown all weekend, I think possibly we got around 100 or 150."

We asked businesses in Uptown how they fared over the weekend.

Mike Porchivina owns the popular M&M. He said, "The problems were very minimal here. The police officers were around a lot and kept complete control over everybody, it was really nice."

Porchivina told us the festival -- and Butte -- left a good impression on many of the visitors they met. "We saw a lot of out of town people, they said they loved Uptown Butte and they'd come back."

Even though the influx of people may have brought in some rowdy visitors, organizers of the Folk Festival say it was the best year yet, and they're looking forward to the future.

Organizers say they're thankful for their volunteers and visitors.

They encourage anyone with comments or suggestions to let them know, so they can make the festival even better in the future.

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