BUTTE - After missing the last two St. Patrick’s Day parades due to the pandemic, Butte’s favorite pipe and drum band from Canada will be returning to the Mining City to celebrate the Fourth of July.
“They are looking forward to it, they’re excited. They have not been here for three years and they’re ready to come here and play it up in Butte,” said George Everett who runs Mainstreet Butte.
The Pipes and Drums of the Edmonton Police Service has been a part of Butte’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration for more than 35 years. The pandemic forced them to cancel appearances in 2020 and 2021. The had hoped to be in this year’s parade, but Canadian restrictions prevented it.
“They’re police officers and the rules are when you cross the border, you have to quarantine if you’re coming back from the United States for up to 10 days and they couldn’t afford to miss work,” said Everett.
The pipe and drum band has committed to return to Butte this year to participate in the Fourth of July parade. Earlier this year, the band released a video apologizing for not making it to this year’s St. Patrick’s Day.
“We’re getting through this covid thing, and we really hope to be back in Butte America, where it’s a big damn deal, in 2023,” a band member said in a video statement.
The return of the pipers to Butte is a positive example of other festivals and events returning to Butte this summer.
“The summer is gearing up to be just crazy busy, not just for us, but for everybody, I think. It’s going to be a good summer,” said Everett.
The band credits Butte resident and former FBI agent Gary Lincoln for first bringing them to Butte.
Lincoln went to Edmonton in 1983 to teach a SWAT course for the officer.
A year later, he brought some band members to Butte for St. Patrick’s Day.
The band members were so impressed, they returned in 1985 to participate in the parade … and have done it every year after that.