Since 1897, the Western Idaho Fair has been summer's main event near Boise homes for sale. Find out why our real estate agents expect that this year's version, appropriately dubbed "The Big Social," will once again be the highlight of the season.
History of the Fair
Around the turn of the 20th century, Boise was relatively isolated from other cities. The Intermountain Fair was designed as a way for the communities to connect, as Boise showcased their strong agricultural foundation.
In 1936, Ada County appointed a fair board to oversee what was now known as the Western Idaho Fair. The event expanded with the times to include carnival rides and games.
While the fair has generated an increase in local business, financial troubles caused sporadic closings over the years. Since the mid-1980s, the Western Idaho Fair has been entirely self-supporting, with no taxpayer funding. Today, as the fair celebrates 125 years, more than a quarter of a million people attend annually.
Acts and Attractions
From animal exhibits to strolling violinists, the fair features entertainment appealing to all ages and interests. Here's a look at some of the most anticipated attractions:
- 4-H and Future Farmers of America are staging show competitions for a wide range of animals, from horses to guinea pigs (or cava). There will also be a number of educational seminars and displays, such as "Alpaca 101" and the Mobile Dairy Classroom.
- What's a fair without motorsports? Adrenaline junkies can get their fill at the Octane Addiction shows, featuring top freestyle riders on snowmobiles, motorcycles, and quads. Little ones can join the fun with the kids' pedal tractor races.
- Are you the BBQ master in your family? How far can you toss a 3.5-pound skillet? You can also show off your skills and win prizes in myriad categories including flower arranging, cake baking, umbrella decorating, photography, and more. Spend time wandering through the exhibition buildings to view hundreds of displays, crafts, and art.
- Once again, a full selection of carnival rides and games will be on hand for everyone, whether you're a daredevil or you prefer tamer thrills.
- Fair food is the stuff of legends, and the eats at the Western Idaho Fair lead the pack. The award-winning Idaho ice cream potato was named to the "50 Best Fair Foods" list by Food Network. Other mouthwatering treats include hand-dipped Party Pups, onion blooms, turkey legs, and deep-fried Snickers.
- Strolling entertainers keep you amused as you wait in line for rides or stop for a refreshment break. Watch for violinists, clowns, and Robocars that are real-life Transformers.
Plan to enjoy big-name concerts during fair week. Admission is included with your fair ticket. Seating is first-come, first-served.
- Chris Janson: Monday, August 22
- Ja Rule and Ashanti: Tuesday, August 23
- Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo: Wednesday, August 24
- Stone Temple Pilots: Thursday, August 25
- Billy Currington: Friday, August 26
All shows start at 7:30 p.m.
Dates and Information
- The 2022 Western Idaho Fair runs from Friday, August 19, through Sunday, August 28.
- Gates open at 11 a.m. on weekends and noon on weekdays. Closing time is 11 p.m. except on the final day, which ends at 9 p.m.
- Adult admission is $10 in advance and $12 at the gate, while kids aged 6-11 are $8 and $9, respectively. Carnival wristbands for all ages are $30 and $35. Combo packs are $70 and $150 and may be purchased in advance only.
- Enjoy free admission from noon - 2 p.m. on opening day with a donation of a non-perishable food item for the Idaho Foodbank.
- Expo Idaho fairgrounds are located at 5610 N. Glenwood St., Garden City, ID 83714.
Life in Boise is full of fun and tradition. If you're buying or selling a home, contact us.