Police reported minor incidents of rowdiness during the three-day festival in honor of daredevil Evel Knievel - while some business owners would like to see the event take a flying leap.

Authorities arrested 30 people from Thursday to Sunday, with many of the crimes being misdemeanors. Police made 14 arrests in connection with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, two driving under the influence arrests and issued seven minor in possession of alcohol citations.

The Montana Highway Patrol made five DUI arrests in the Butte area since Thursday. Last year, police made 18 misdemeanor disorderly conduct arrests and issued eight MIP citations.

Capt. Doug Conway was on foot patrol throughout the festival.

"It was not bad, I thought the crowd was well behaved," Conway said.

Organizer Chad Harrington, in a Sunday story, pronounced the annual Evel Knievel Days a success, and promised it would be back.

Other people, however, aren't so enamored with the annual event that features motorcycle and car stunts, among other entertainment.

While some Uptown Butte business owners said the event attracted customers, others disagreed.

Nick Kujawa, co-owner of Taco Del Sol at 102 E. Granite, said unruly and intoxicated people damaged his business and drove away regular customers.

"This (Evel Days) was in stark contrast to the peaceful, calm, fun-loving people at the folk festival," Kujawa said of the Montana Folk Festival that was held in Uptown two weeks ago.

Kujawa said a motorist hit his restaurant deck Saturday afternoon and left the scene. He said repair costs and cleanup cut into any profits he made during the event. He added that he may close the restaurant during Evel Knievel Days next year.

On the other side of the coin, Gamer's Café owner Paul Cote credits the three-day festival for bringing in many hungry breakfast and lunchtime diners.

"I did better this weekend than the weekend before," Cote said about his café at 15 W. Park St.

Cote added that he supports Evel Days and hopes it continues to stay Uptown.

"It helps in a big way," he said.

- Reporter John Grant Emeigh may be reached via e-mail at john.emeigh@lee.net

 

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