The Red Ants Pants Music Festival kicked off Thursday evening after being canceled last year due to the pandemic.
Festival Producer and owner of Red Ants Pants Sarah Calhoun says the festival is not just about jamming out to music, but actually strengthening Montana by raising funds for the Red Ants Pants Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering strength and self-reliance in women in rural communities.
"This is a community-driven event and the whole city is rising up in the cow pasture, out there and everybody pitches in and so there is a lot of pride being build over the years with having this festival,” said Calhoun.
The festival did cap off tickets to ensure safety for attendees, but Calhoun says it will still be a great feeling to see people back in the pasture.
"It is a wonderful feeling and it has taken a lot of work over the past ten year-end every year we try to make it a little bit better of an experience for the town and for the festival attendees, and the artists, and the staff, volunteers and vendors,” said Calhoun.
And the festival doesn’t just stop giving back to Red Ants Pants. It's a major economic boon for the area.
"The boost we get is huge,” said Rick Nelson, mayor of White Sulphur Springs and owner of StageLine Pizza.
Nelson says that the campers and trailers with different license plates rolling into town are a sight to see. After all, a busy town is an economic benefit to all.
"It's an incredible sight, it's a big boost to the town, the locals look forward to it every year,” said Nelson.
Nelson also looks at Calhoun with pride in her efforts of taken the festival far from its first year.
“For Sarah to have taken this from what she did 11 years ago and people were thinking music in a cow pasture how is that going to work? To what it is now is an amazing thing, truly,” said Nelson.
Calhoun says that if festival-goers are not feeling well they are being asked to stay home,
You can find more information about the Red Ants Pants Foundation here.