Idaho holidays really showcase the state's culture and often overlooked charm. The state comes alive during its brief summer and fall season as nearly every region hosts a range of fun festivals. Many of them focus on music or western themes like the rodeo or traditional state fairs. There is also plenty of art and food involved, most of which take place in the big city of Boise. Even the tiniest towns of Stanley and McCall have their own big events that transform the normally sleepy mountain towns into open-air parties.
Idaho Shakespeare Festival
Proving they know their culture, the residents of Boise have been hosting this special theatrical event since 1977. Set in the lovely outdoor amphitheater along the Boise River’s banks, right in the heart of town, the Shakespeare Festival is so popular it runs from June all the way through September, with different plays performed in each month.
Riverfest Music Festival
The small town of Kamiah puts on a fun and family-friendly music event every June for two days. The riverside park right in town is the perfect venue for this low-key, gala of local food, great bands, and entertainment.
The mountain town of McCall holds its big annual event at the end of July. For five days, the quaint town features a series of jazz and classical chamber music concerts at venues around the region. It’s a rather famous event in its genre and regularly attracts some big names to this tiny Idaho village.
Festival at Sandpoint
The big event each summer in the northern town of Sandpoint is an 11-day extravaganza every August that takes over the entire downtown. The scenic War Memorial Field is the site for several stages featuring music from various genres, ranging from classical to jazz, pop, and world beats. There is also the Food Street, lined with tasty festival fare and ticket prices vary depending on who is performing.
Western Idaho Fair
Idaho’s official state fair is held every August at the Western Idaho Fairgrounds outside of Boise. This is one of the state’s primary events, running for 10 days. Experience Idaho in its purest form, with everything from cowboy competitions and carnival rides to music and awesome food.
Art in the Park
To celebrate the arrival of fall, Boise holds its annual art festival each September in the town’s lovely Julia Davis Park. Craftsmen from around the western half of the country come to show and sell their wares. The event also features live music, plenty of food and special children’s activities in the park. It runs for two days over the weekend and is free.