BUTTE — On Friday, the Montana Gaelic Cultural Society announced the cancellation of its 2021 An Rí Rá Irish Festival.
"After careful consideration, the organizers of the An Ri Ra Montana Irish Festival have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 festival," organizers said in a news release.
"While the CDC has begun to relax its COVID safety protocols and the trajectory of infections appears to be trending downward, the prospects of achieving herd immunity by mid-August are bleak. We believe it would be irresponsible of us to invite and encourage large groups of people to travel from scattered places and assemble in Butte and reluctantly made the decision out of an abundance of caution."
"The ongoing uncertainty of the situation over the past year prevented the committee from laying the groundwork to conduct festival events. At this late date, we find it impracticable to invest the time, money, and effort into staging an event that is not guaranteed to take place. Continuing travel restrictions prevent us from booking international bands, including those from Canada."
"Many will be disappointed by our decision, but that disappointment is felt most acutely by those of us who pour blood, sweat, toil, tears, and treasure into this endeavor. We eagerly anticipate coming back stronger than ever next year. Until then, we welcome any and all financial support to ensure a successful festival in 2022."