BUTTE - The coronavirus has temporarily stopped two Butte firefighters’ plans to participate in a major stairclimbing event in Seattle this weekend after the event was postponed out of safety concerns due to the virus.
“You know, there’s all 50 states, 14 countries are represented at the stair climb, tons of people. I think they’ve made the right choice in postponing the event,” said Butte firefighter Aaron Facincani.
Eight Billings firefighters were also planning to make the trip and raised $13,000 to fight leukemia. On Facebook, Billings firefighters that they still plan to donate the money to a related cause and will participate if the event is rescheduled.
The two Butte firefighters have been training for several weeks for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society Firefighter Stairclimb and admit the postponement is disappointing, but necessary.
“We started to see the bright side of everything. We have more of a chance to fundraise and raise more money and longer time to train,” said firefighter John Liebel.
Organizers of the Montana Folk Festival in Butte are keeping close watch on the virus and hope that it won’t have an effect on the three-day music event this July.
“We are just going straight ahead full steam, planning the festival as if everything was as if it usually is, and just hoping that things change,” said festival organizer George Everett.
The folk festival is still more than four months away, so organizers are confident it will continued as scheduled, but turnout could be affected if people decide not to travel as much this summer out of fear of the virus.
“The Montana Folk Festival does bring people from out of state from a lot of directions, people from Yellowstone Park, you know, already we see an impact with the large number of people who are not coming to the park this summer, already they canceled their reservations, so there’s going to be an impact,” said Everett.
The Montana Folk Festival is set for July 10 -12.