Rice Ridge Fire Forces Norman Maclean Festival to Relocate

Mandatory evacuations and hazardous air quality requires event to move from Seeley Lake to Missoula

By Beacon Staff

Due to the events of the Rice Ridge Fire, the Norman Maclean Festival is relocating its Seeley Lake events scheduled for the first two days of the festival to Missoula’s First Presbyterian Church – Reverend Maclean’s historic church. The Sept. 10 films with the creative team from “A River Runs Through It” remain at the Roxy in Missoula at 9:30 a.m. and The Wilma at 1 p.m. in Missoula as previously scheduled. The festival’s Gala dinner on Sept. 8 at the home of Big Blackfoot Riverkeeper Jerry O’Connell will continue as planned.

“This was a painful and tough call for the festival,” Alpine Artisans president Gene Schade said in a press release. “This year’s festival’s theme is ‘The Story of the Blackfoot’ and Seeley Lake was the summer home of Norman Maclean where he wrote ‘A River Runs Through It,’ so we were determined to stay in Seeley Lake. Our festival is designed to honor that literary tradition and to draw people to our magnificent community. However, this week’s mandatory evacuations and the hazardous air quality require us to be cautious and relocating to the Reverend Maclean’s historic church also seems appropriate to that legacy.”

Festival Director Jenny Rohrer added, “Norman Maclean, more than anyone, knew that wildfire is a fact of life. What’s most important is that the firefighters righting the Rice Ridge Fire stay safe. The Maclean Family has a rich history in Missoula as well – and we hope to add programming to the festival that features that history.”

The Sept. 10 films will feature a surprise presentation from Robert Redford. Updated tour information and tickets are available at macleanfootsteps.com.

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