Helena offering fun and fireworks July 3

Old Town Helena was packed with residents for last year’s Fourth of July First Friday event and this year the city is expecting a similar crowd. (Contributed)

Old Town Helena was packed with residents for last year’s Fourth of July First Friday event and this year the city is expecting a similar crowd. (Contributed)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The city of Helena has big plans surrounding the Fourth of July holiday and residents will have plenty of things to do on Friday, July 3, as Helena First Friday and a fireworks show presented by the city of Helena and FarmerGuard Pest Control will highlight the evening of fun.

The ever-growing and popular First Friday event will be kicked off at 5:30 p.m. and a handful of food trucks such as Cantina and Saw’s BBQ will be on hand and other popular Helena restaurants such as the Coal Yard, Papa Saia’s and The Depot will all be open late ready to serve those in the Old Town area.

In addition to numerous restaurants being open, more booths and vendors will line the streets of Old Town for people to stop by and check out what they have to offer.

The First Friday series helps boost the revenue for local retail stores and all of the other businesses throughout Helena.

Many Helena business owners said the first Friday of each month is when they see the biggest increase in their revenue due to the big crowds.

The Helena Business Association has been one of the biggest reasons the First Friday series has taken off, and HBA President Alan Farmer discussed how the HBA has been able to turn First Friday into something positive for the city.

“The HBA assumed responsibility for First Friday last June,” said Farmer. “We intended to help highlight Helena businesses and for all of them to come down and set up a booth to expose their business to local residents. Early on, the event only attracted a few hundred people and now we have around 1,500 each month. This month we are expecting about two to three times that amount.”

Another unique thing happening this on July 3 will be a dunking booth and kids zone presented by Scozzaro Law LLC and the Helena Lions Club.

The cost for the dunking booth will be $1 per throw or six throws for $5.

Many members of the Helena community have already agreed to take part in the dunking booth including Helena High School Assistant Principal David Butts, HHS Track and Field coach Jon Russell, Gene Rowley from APH Radio, Helena Mayor Mark Hall and other members of the Helena City Council.

Entrance to the kids zone costs $5 for an armband that grants unlimited access to all of the games and inflatables.

Following the conclusion of First Friday, around 9 p.m. a fireworks show will light up the night to cap off a busy Friday night heading into the holiday weekend.

For more information on the Helena Business Association visit Hbahelena.com