Jordyn Haroldsen, contributing writer
Summer is a wonderful time to live in Southeast Idaho. Between the warm weather and the great outdoors, it seems there is always something to do. We’ve rounded up just a few of the many things to do this summer to keep you and your family entertained.
1. Local Farmers’ Markets: Idaho Falls has a farmers’ market that goes from April until the end of October. Stop by the Greenbelt, near Key Bank, any Saturday until Oct. 29 to experience fresh produce, plants, all kinds of foods, crafts and music. Pocatello, Rigby and Rexburg have their own farmer’s markets throughout the summer.
2. Idaho Falls Gallery Walk: Clear your schedule for the first Thursday of each month, starting now until October. Art galleries around Idaho Falls, including The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, Willowtree Gallery and the ARTitorium, open their doors to the public. Admission is free, so go on in, wander, and enjoy the art!
3. Portneuf Valley Paint Fest: Give back this summer by volunteering with the Portneuf Valley Paint Fest. Each summer volunteers paint the homes of seniors who can’t afford to repaint the exterior of their home. If you’re interested in volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information. Volunteers must be 18 or older, so this is a great project for graduated high school seniors before they head off to college!
4. Celebrate Blackfoot: Stop by Jensen’s Grove in Blackfoot from June 30 to July 1 for some baked potatoes. Stay for the car show, vendors, races and fireworks. They’ll also have a children’s carnival, so bring your little ones for some fun!
5. Melaleuca Firework Show: Idaho Falls is famous for its firework show, and this year is no exception. The location of the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration has been moved to Snake River Landing to allow a bigger display for the 25th-anniversary show. Set your alarms early that morning to get a good spot for the Idaho Falls parade. You won’t be disappointed!
6. Idaho International Summerfest: Mark your calendars for July 10-15 and take a trip to Rexburg for their annual Summerfest. Each summer, hundreds of performers from all over the world travel to Rexburg. The week-long event features dance and music performances, as well as a humanitarian project and a street festival for the community. Tickets for the performances are available online.
7. Blue Angels Air Show: The Blue Angels Air Show will be flying into the Idaho Falls airport July 22-23. Each show starts at noon, but the gates open in the morning so people can come to check out displays, vendors, and merchandise. After the operating costs, all proceeds of the show are donated to local non-profit organizations. You can buy tickets online, or at the gate.
8. That Famous Preston Rodeo: Get tickets to the biggest rodeo in Southeast Idaho on July 27-29. This three-day event is recognized as the first night rodeo in the world, and features everything from Bull Riding, Mutton Bustin’ and Barrel Racing. And don’t forget about the family carnival and parade!
9. Roaring Youth Jam: Bring the whole family for the Roaring Youth Jam Aug. 10-12. This year’s theme is “Jump into Books,” which is a great way to get your children ready for school. All entertainment is free including crafts and projects, live music performance and the Battle of the Bands.
10. Solar Eclipse: We in Southeast Idaho have a unique opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The Idaho Falls and Rexburg areas are especially good areas to view the eclipse because of the path it takes, and people from all over the nation will congregate to southeast Idaho to get a good view. Get yourself a pair of eclipse glasses and be ready for the total eclipse!
11. Eastern Idaho State Fair: Prepare your stomach for some good food and fun rides from Sept. 1-9 at the Eastern Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot. There’s something for everyone, with food, games, carnival rides, concerts and home and livestock exhibits. Don’t forget to try the famous “Tiger Ear” scones!
12. Spud Day: You’d be surprised by how much fun a day devoted to potatoes can be. Come celebrate Spud Day in Shelley on the third Saturday in September. Start the day off with a parade and then come get a free baked potato for lunch. Stick around for the potato picking contest and don’t miss the “Spud Tug” to see who ends up in the pit of mashed potatoes.