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Best festivals and family events in Idaho

Idaho has unique events year-round celebrating culture and history of the state. And theme parks and winter carnivals make each season exciting.

line of cowboys, state fair

Sandpoint Winter Carnival

When the winter is at it’s peak, gear up for the Sandpoint Winter Carnival. This is a celebration of the best of the wintery, white season. The carnival is a ten-day-long festival that includes Taste of Sandpoint, Parade of Lights, Beach House Bonfire, Schweitzer Urban Rail Jam, Chili Cook-Off, Fudge-o-Rama and an Adult Spelling Bee. In 2012, Sandpoint even had fire dancers and a downtown bonfire. The nearby restaurants get in on all the fun and feature specials and there is an opportunity to win prizes by eating at participating restaurants and shopping at local vendors.

Location:  Downtown Sandpoint, Idaho

Phone: 208.255.1876



78th Annual Lewiston Roundup

Held from September 6 through the 9th in 2012, this is one of the longest running community events in the Lewiston-Clarkston area. The roundup hosts the area’s oldest and largest rodeo. Top cowboys, cowgirls and world champions make an appearance at Lewiston and some even participate in the parade that goes through downtown to garner excitement for the annual event.

Location: 2100 Tammany Creek Road, Lewiston, Idaho 83501

Phone: 866.906.6324



Lumberjack Days

Bring on Paul Bunyan! This is a lumberjack’s dream festival. This year the celebration will be help September 13 through the 16th in Orofino. This is an international event featuring loggers from around the world. Crowd favorite competitions such as birling, axe throwing, tree races and two-person hand and power saw races keep the crowd energetic and entertained. The horse-pulling contest, Lumberjack Days Dance and annual ice cream social at Clearwater Historical Museum round off the activities. Don’t forget cheer on the wee ones in the kiddie parade.

Location: Orofino, Idaho 83544

Phone: 208.476.3412



Eastern Idaho State Fair

This state tradition has 110 years of history and is a favorite destination for over 200,000 visitors. The Eastern Idaho State Fair is a week-long event held in September in conjunction with Labor Day. For the little ones, the McKee’s Petting Zoo is always a big hit that is both educational and hands-on. There are horse races and relays — and lots of food, vendors and entertainment await guests. It’s a free event and live performances certainly cap off the celebration.

Location: 97 Park Street, Blackfoot, Idaho 83221

Phone: 208.785.2480



Idaho Spud Day

Each September, the famous Idaho potato is honored! This is a country-style celebration for children of all ages. With a pancake breakfast, a parade at 9:45 am, music, demolition derby, free baked potato lunch at noon and a Dutch oven cook-off, world championship potato picking and Spud Tug, you will truly embrace everything potato by the end of the day.

Location: Shelley City Park, State Street, Shelley, Idaho 83274

Phone: 208.529.9619



Snake River Roaring Youth Jam

It’s a jam session for the wee ones! Held from August 9th through 11th in Idaho Falls, the Idaho Falls Arts Council puts on a three-day arts festival geared toward children and families. With art, theater and music events, there is something for everyone. There is a visual arts tent where children can make their own art and rotating performing arts shows at the Colonial Theater. Older kids can get in on the fun as well with the “Teen Scene” that hosts a battle of the bands and teen film festival.

Location: 450 A. Street, Idaho Falls, Idaho 84302

Phone: 208.522.0471


Image courtesy of Eastern Idaho State Fair

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