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'Blanket rush' ahead of annual Symphony Under the Stars

Posted at 5:51 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-16 10:15:39-04

HELENA  — Helena’s Symphony Under the Stars blanket rush tradition is back. The tradition allows folks to grab their favorite spot for the show while also supporting some good causes.

Typically, around 16,000 people show up to the event, so staking out a spot early is not a bad idea. Hundreds lined up to storm Carroll College’s lawn at 3:00 PM in order to snag their preferred spot for Saturday evening’s symphony event.

Some had strategies prepared and pre-workout stretching completed in order to claim the ideal viewing area.

“The competition of getting the spot that we want. So, we have a spot picked out and I have my younger boys are here. They're 12 and 8, and we are beelining it straight for that,” says blanket runner, Karen Repine.

“Yeah, we warmed up. We did some stretches early before we ran down there. That pine tree down there, we're going to just beeline it and see the first open spot we can get,” says blanket runner, Connor Mertz.

Others were more excited for the actual run than for the perfect spot.

“I just really want to run down the hill since it's been a while since I’ve ran down hills,” said young blanket runner Paxton.

The event not only provides a free performance for thousands of people but also much-appreciated donations to organizations.

The $5/blanket donations go to the Boy Scouts. And the cans of food that folks use to hold their blankets down will go to the Helena Food Share.

Last year, 18,200 pounds worth of canned food were donated to Helena Food Share. Their goal for this year is 22,000 pounds.

This year’s theme is Billy Joel and Elton John, and the performance starts at 8:00 PM Saturday night.