Aug 14, 2012 12:54 PM by MTN News
BUTTE - Firefighters on motorcycles are rolling into Butte from around the country and Canada.
It IS a rally by the International Association of Fire Fighters, and more than 1,000 riders are expected to be in the Mining City this week to participate.
"Today we have our hands full. For the last two days we've been setting up as people come in, you know, we've been jockeying around to get the rally site fixed up," IAFF motorcycle group chaplain Rick Walsh said.
"This is a big deal and I hope, what I'm really hoping is, that the community of Butte and the surrounding areas of Montana, [that] citizens will come out and rub elbows with firefighters here and listen to our stories and share a beverage with us," Walsh said.
This is the first time that Montana has hosted the national rally. Butte-Silver Bow battalion chief Rick Ryan says he believes Butte was chosen as the location because of its rich history.
"We are privileged to be asked to host the sixth annual rally here in Butte due to our really long labor history and also the tragic events that happened in 1895 of the Kenyon Cornell explosion that pretty much devastated and killed most of the members of the Butte Fire Department at that time. It's a once in a life-time opportunity for Montana so we just invite everybody out to come enjoy it with us and partake in the festivities and have fun," Ryan said.
All of the events are free and open to the public and you don't have to be a firefighter to ride.
Registration to join the full ride is $60 which includes a ticket to see headlining Southern rockers .38 Special at the Butte Depot on Aug. 15.
The cost is $10 to join the motorcycle procession with all of the proceeds going to charity.