Buck Creek Festival ready for another big event Oct. 6-7

Published 12:22 pm Thursday, September 14, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HELENA – The event residents across Helena look forward to each year is set to return with the annual Buck Creek Festival coming to the banks of Buck Creek Oct. 6-7 at Helena’s Amphitheater Park.

The event will make its return to the fall for the first time since 2021 after it moved back to May for one year before the logistics of the fall event helped with improving this year’s festivities.

“It seems like everyone in Helena looks forward to Helena’s Buck Creek Festival, and we are so glad to be back again this year with a festival in the fall,” said Buck Creek Festival President JoAnna Harman. “Even though the time of year is different, everything else will be what the community expects of this iconic festival.”

Set in Helena Amphitheater Park, this family-friendly event will start on Friday, Oct. 6 with hours ranging from 6-10 p.m., while it will then pick up again on Saturday with the festival kicking off at 10 a.m. on Oct. 7 and ending at 10 p.m. that night.

“The community should come out expecting exceptional local arts and craft as well as retail vendors, food vendors, live music, kids play area and the beer tent,” Harman said. “Helena’s Buck Creek Festival strives to continue the legacy of this festival that started more than 20 years ago and this year is no different.”

In May of this year, the community lost Jim McKinley, one of the original Buck Creek Festival committee members.

“In speaking with family and friends, everyone said that Jim McKinley’s favorite part of the festival was the music, so this year the stage will be named the Jim McKinley Stage,” Harman said. “Starting off the music Friday night at 6 p.m. will be Love Rat followed by Rick Carter & Friends.

Saturday the Jim McKinley Stage will start up at 10 a.m. and will feature music by bands such as Suburban Love Junkies and Jupiter Coyote.

Not to be missed is the iconic Duck Race. Helena’s High School Band will once again sell raffle tickets to get your duck in the race.

In addition to ducks, this is the only place to get a HBCF festival shirt. For $25, you can get a flock of five ducks and a festival shirt, while single ducks are sold for $5 each.

Duck presales will be sold at local businesses and through band students, while the band will also have a duck sales booth at the festival.

The duck race will kick off with the cannon blast at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Prizes to race winners are $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place.

Winners will be announced at the Jim McKinley stage following the race.

The festival committee is excited to announce that this year, the children’s play area will run extended hours. The play area will be available from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Wrist bands for all day access to the play area will be $10 per child and can be purchased with cash at the play area. Card purchases for wrist bands will be available at the two beer tents.

“My favorite thing about the festival is getting the community to come together down by the creek,” HBCF Secretary Crystal McLoughlin said. “We have something for everyone. Want to relax and listen to music, do a little shopping and support local artisans, eat some interesting food from our numerous food trucks, or let your kids run free in the revamped play area or splash around in the creek—we have you covered! Come stay for the day or only an hour whatever works for you and your fam jam and we promise you will have a blast down by the creek.”

The HBCF committee and volunteers looks forward to hosting you at this year’s festival.