2016 was a year of “more” at the Western Idaho Fair thanks to loyal Fairgoers from across southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. Total attendance for 2016 was 243,474 for the ten-day event, up 5% over last year, resulting in 10% more revenue overall. The competitive side of the Fair increased with greater exhibitor participation and more entries over last year.
More than 40,000 visited the Fair on Saturday, August 27, giving Butler Amusements its largest grossing day ever during its most successful Western Idaho Fair to date. In all, Fair closing weekend attendance surpassed opening weekend by more than 15,000 people.
“This year’s fair was one of the best we ever had. Great entertainment, weather, and a strong grandstand line-up made for a very successful year,” said Bob Batista, Western Idaho Fair Director. “We continue to strive to make our experience more fun and memorable each year.”
Very popular concert acts drew thousands of people from across the region, contributing to increased Fair attendance during the week and throughout the Fair. Josh Turner’s Tuesday night concert led the way with 13,103 attendees, followed by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo at 11,582 on Friday, Foreigner at 9,234 on Wednesday, and LOCASH and Sawyer Brown at 6,157 on Thursday.
Participants in the Junior Livestock Sale received the biggest boost this year, with a nearly 20% increase in sales over last year. This year’s Grand Champion Beef sold for $13,000, significantly more than last year. The success of the sale helps to reward the young people for all of their hard work and dedication to raising their animals throughout the year.
A few other memorable additions to this year’s Fair included a variety of National Navy week activities like the Navy Leapfrog skydiving appearances, the first ever Fair’s Got Talent competition, and a live daredevil Motorcycle Acrobatic show called Moto Maniacs.
The 120th annual Western Idaho Fair begins on Friday, August 18, 2017 and ends on Sunday, August 27, 2017. The theme for the 2017 Fair Exhibits is Stars, Stripes, and Fair Delights. Exhibitor information will be released in June 2017. So stay tuned for more from the Fair, and thanks again for making 2016 a rousing success!
It’s closing weekend at the legendary Western Idaho Fair, and your last chance to get in on all the famous Fair action. You’ve got THREE DAYS LEFT to ride the rides, eat the food, meet the animals, and celebrate farm life.
Stop FOMO in its tracks with a few of the activities going on today through Sunday at the Fair:
Scream and shout: Grab your leg warmers and headbands—the 80s are back with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on the Grandstand stage tonight at 7:30pm! The concert’s free with gate admission, making it hands down the best concert deal in town.
Watch your step: When it comes to stepping up, horses get it done. Cheer them on—and their riders, too—at the Light Horse Show in D&B Arena at 12pm Friday. And check out the rest of the D&B Arena schedule for more awesome animal performances.
Capture the cute: There’s tons of cuteness at the Fair, including the kids pedal tractor pull, the Olate Dogs, the racing pigs, and more. Here’s one more highlight: the Rooster Crowing Contest at 7pm at the Small Animal Building on Friday. Enough said.
Dance like everyone’s watching: Ever wanted to learn to swing dance? Pick up some moves at the swing dance competition at 7pm on Saturday at the Spectra Stage—and cheer on your favorite couples!
Heroes in the band shell: It’s Navy Week in Boise, and the Navy’s been at the Fair all week. Catch the wildly popular Navy band at the opening ceremony performance at 12:30pm on Sunday.
All this and more awaits you at the last weekend of the Western Idaho Fair. Don’t miss it! Grab tickets online or right at the Fair. And get Fair famous.
The wait is over. The legendary Western Idaho Fair opens today at noon! What’s more, it’s KBOI-TV day—thanks to them, you’ll get in FREE between noon and 2pm.
Here’s what to expect on the first day of the Fair.
Be on the lookout for roving entertainers Jeremy the Juggler, Skip Banks, and Biggest Little Cowboys, or check in at one of the many grounds acts, like the high-octane Moto Maniacs, famous Olate dogs, speedy racing pigs, and musical acts Life in the Fast Lane and Redhead Express.
For Kids There’s plenty to entertain the little ones at the Fair. Head over to the petting zoo for an up-close look at farm animals, or immerse yourself in flying colors at Butterfly Adventures. And new to this year’s Fair, visit the STEM Bus, packed with hands-on science and technology activities your kids will love.
Find out who’s best in show! 4-H and FFA competitors will be showing animals all day, including dairy goats, beef cattle, sheep, swine, and rabbits. See how Marcus and Sweetie do at 2pm in the Small Animal Barn, and check out the llama and alpaca costume contest at 7pm in the Western Town Barn. And for all of you Snapchat fans, we’ll be having a Snapchat scavenger hunt for cash at 2pm, 5pm, and 8pm every day of the Fair, plus face swap and selfie stations throughout the grounds.
It’s Friday night—the perfect day to let loose at the carnival. New rides combine with classic favorites for an action-packed year for thrill seekers.
End the summer right with an epic trip to the Fair, open today through August 28—and make some memories you’ll love to share.
Jennifer and Jim went to rival high schools. She was the head of the cheerleading squad, and valedictorian of her class, with a plan to attend college after graduation. Jim was working at a gas station the summer after high school, and thinking about what line of work to pursue as an adult.
Jim was working one day when Jennifer and her friend decided to head to the beach. On the way home, her friend’s car broke down. When they pulled into a gas station for help, Jim was there to greet them—and to ask Jennifer for her number.
“All of the guys working there asked me for my number. I gave everyone the wrong one—except for Jim.”
Jim called to ask her out on a date to the LA County Fair.
They spent the whole day and night together at the Fair—riding the rides, looking at the exhibits, eating corndogs, walking, and talking. At the end of the night, Jim took her home—and they shared a magical kiss.
Even though there was a serious connection, Jennifer had enrolled in college far from home, and was supposed to marry someone else. But she couldn’t forget about that enchanted night at the fair.
So she decided to leave school and move in with the man she loved. And since then, Jennifer and Jim have spent every anniversary at the event that made it all possible—their local fair.
“We moved to Idaho in the 90s, and have been going to the Western Idaho Fair every year since then,” Jennifer gushes. “We love the rollercoasters, and the food, and going through the exhibits. It’s just a perfect way to spend a day with the man I’m still in love with.”
In 2017, Jim and Jennifer will be celebrating 30 years of marriage. And though they’ve been through tough times, they’re just as in love as that day at the fair that started it all.