Sandwiched between more famous neighbours like Washington and Montana, many are unaware of the wonders and wilderness held tightly within the pristine package of Idaho. But it’s exactly that – a wonderful state full of natural beauty and adventures waiting to be had. These adventures include a varied and lively annual program of festivals dedicated to a whole range of interesting themes, including arts, food, drink and music, and other more unique events to celebrate cowboys, lumberjacks, winter, sheep, potatoes and more.
For fans of freeze and frost, Sandpoint Winter Festival is the perfect event. Since 1973, the festival has been annually delivering over one week of snow, slush and shivers, and offers a great range of family events and attractions, including fireworks, parties, live music, festive food, competitions, parades and more. There are also lots of traditional-style events such as cook-offs and spelling bees. It’s a great way to revel in the icy chill of winter. Bring your loved ones, grab a glass of eggnog and leave with rosy cheeks!
Idaho Shakespeare festival celebrates the very best of the brilliant and unbeatable bard. Over 100,000 attendees turn up each year to see and hear the great plays of the very man himself along with other fantastic productions. These performances are held in a beautiful outdoor amphitheatre which serves as a great natural backdrop for some of history’s best plays to unfold. The festival is considered to be one of the best theatre events in the entire world, and has won great public and critical acclaim.
The three-day Trailing of the Sheep festival celebrates the cultural heritage of Idaho and its historical ties to sheep ranching. The event features all things sheepish, including classes on spinning and weaving with wool, cooking with lamb and in-depth studies of the tree carvings of ancient sheep ranchers. There is also music, poetry reading, storytelling and more. It’s a great flavour of traditional Idaho and its wacky and woolly heritage.
Jazz fans can also find plenty to blow their trumpets about with the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival - with a history of over 40 years – and the Gene Harris Jazz Festival. Other musical events celebrate rock, pop and the great Idaho tradition of the fiddle.