Helena’s Buck Creek Festival on pace to set records following 17th year

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The weather couldn’t get much better the weekend of May 11, as thousands made their way to Helena for the 17th annual Buck Creek Festival in what is estimated to be the most successful festival to date.

Once the volunteer work consisting of securing vendors, musical talent, negotiating costs and more was complete, the festival began and it was time to enjoy the weekend following the months of hard work and planning.

The two-day family-friendly festival featured plenty of food and retail vendors, musical entertainment, a children’s play area and of course, the famous Saturday duck race.

While festival goers browsed the dozens of vendors, they had a chance to enjoy the 10 musical groups that performed on Friday and Saturday as this year was highlighted by Friday night’s headliner Nationwide Coverage and Telluride as the Saturday night headliner.

Sandwiched between the musical acts and vendors was the legendary duck race in which thousands of yellow rubber ducks plunged over the waterfall and down Buck Creek.

This year’s duck race was even more special because it was estimated to be the largest race in the 17-year history of the festival.

“We just finished the festival and we think it was the biggest and the best and hopefully we’re going to set records all the way around,” longtime festival organizer Cris Nelson said at the Helena Council Meeting following the festival on May 14. “We know we set records for ducks and tickets sold. Buck Creek had more ducks in it than it has ever had in it and the Helena Band Boosters raised a lot of money.”

Coming into the 17th year, an impressive total of more than $271,000 has been raised for area schools, charities and non-profits, and that number will continue to grow after the 2018 Buck Creek Festival.

To view or purchase more photos from the 17th annual Buck Creek Festival, visit Shelbycountyphotos.com.