We made it to one of the first public events at the Butte Civic Center since the pandemic first struck in March of 2020. It is great to say: Butte, Montana is back in business.

What a weekend to be in Butte, Montana. It was great driving around Uptown Butte. The sun was shining. There were people driving around in 4-wheelers and side-by-sides soaking up the sun. In front of the Butte Brewing Company, folks were enjoying beers on the patio.

As you can see in the photo above, we felt like we had the VIP table at Metals Sports Bar and Grill. We sat in what felt like the Butte sports hall of fame room overlooking the key intersection near the brand new Northwestern Energy headquarters building and the historic M&M.

But it wasn't just outdoor activities and restaurants that are back in business. Indoor events are back in business in Butte also. We enjoyed the girls' volleyball tournament taking place at both the civic center and at the Maroon Activity Center further up the hill. We had teams there from Billings, Bozeman, Deer Lodge, Anaconda, Butte, the Flathead, and elsewhere. Thanks to the great folks in Butte for letting the kids play, and for letting the families watch.

The Copper King Hotel and the Rib and Chop House were definitely bustling all weekend long.

Not only were the events now allowed to take place for the first time since March of 2020, according to the Montana Standard, but attendees also weren't required to wear masks.

So far, this has been working very well for the counties that have done away with mask mandates and other restrictions. Governor Greg Gianforte (R-MT) lifted statewide restrictions shortly after being sworn in as governor. Counties like Yellowstone County, Montana's most populous county, did not continue with a local mask mandate or other restrictions. Yellowstone County has continued to post COVID-19 case numbers even lower than the still-restricted Gallatin County.

Credit Aaron Flint

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