Evel Knievel Days canceled
BUTTE, Mont. —
Evel Knievel Days is canceled this year due to lack of funding, according to a written statement from the organization that oversees the festival.
NBC Montana reported last month that the festival, scheduled for July, was nearly $200,000 short in funding.
Organizers announced Monday they were only able to receive commitments for a “fraction of the amount.”
That fraction, according to organizers, was $25,000 from SARTA -- Butte's Superfund Advisory and Redevelopment Trust Authority.
Organizers said the festival could run upwards of $500,000.
"It is unfortunate that the first festival that gave Butte its name The Festival City will not take place this year,” organizers said. “Asking local businesses to shoulder multiple events within a few weeks of each other is unfair and unsustainable. Evel Knievel Days is the latest victim of this unfortunate reality."
NBC Montana also got in touch with Stephen Coe, last year’s Evel Knievel Days organizer.
"Evel Knievel Days has been the longest running festival in Butte's history. It laid the groundwork for the other festivals, but unfortunately lately the economy is really showing what’s going on. It appears that it's too hard for Butte to support multiple festivals,” Coe said.
Butte resident Jolene Rohan said her father and Knievel were best friends. She believes if Knievel were still alive, the festival would most likely be running.
"If Evel was still alive, I believe it would still be going on, because he knew what to do. He started it. He knew how to run it, and it was about him,” Rohan said.
Current organizers told NBC Montana last month that local business sponsors for the festival were down. It’s another reason why Rohan thinks the future of Evel Knievel Days is over.
"If they didn't get enough money this year, I just think they're not going to get enough money next year,” she said.
This news comes after the cancellation of another Butte festival -- The Original Festival.
However, there are still plenty of events scheduled this summer in Butte starting with Fourth of July festivities and the Montana Folk Festival.