It’s time once again to celebrate North Idaho as the North Idaho State Fair comes to the Kootenai County Fairgrounds August 21 through August 25, and it’s an event you won’t want to miss!
With events, exhibits and entertainment for the entire family, Brittany Teverbaugh, the marketing and sponsorship manager for the fair, says that each year the fair sees upward of 80,000 attendees. “Last year was a record breaker in many ways, with an attendance of 85,448 over the five-day event,” said Brittany.
The shows held in The Findlay Arena are always a huge draw for attendees, and this year won’t be any different.
“This year we have Craig Morgan with special guest Jerrod Niemann and local group the Last Chance Band putting on a great ‘Party in the Dirt’ concert Wednesday evening,” said Brittany, adding that Thursday is all about the bulls at PRCA Xtreme Bulls night. “The Gem State Stampede PRCA Rodeo packs the place for their Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows, and it's all wrapped up Sunday evening with an incredibly popular Demolition Derby.”
But it’s not just the events in the arena that draw large crowds; the much-loved petting zoo, 4-H and open class exhibitions, the antique agricultural equipment and more are huge attractions.
In addition, there is the hypnotist and magic shows along with local talent on each of the three stages.
“This year, back by popular demand, is a thrilling high-dive show, and Tumbleweed—an Old West-style comedy stunt show,” said Brittany. “New attractions will include stilt walker athletes, Mango & Dango, Karen Quest's Cowgirl Tricks and the Bugology exhibit where you can actually taste test some creepy crawly critters.”
This year’s theme is the Fair Necessities and will highlight a great mix of fun while including everyone’s favorite traditional events and exhibits.
Putting on such an incredible event takes a great deal of manpower. The North Idaho Fair Board employs eight full-time employees, with a few seasonal part-time employees hired in the summer depending upon the number of events they have booked.
“The year-round staff is responsible for grounds maintenance, upgrades, event bookings, set-up and tear-down, as well as planning signature events like the Gem State Stock Show, Summer Service Day, the annual Fair and Rodeo, and the Pro-West Rodeo Finals,” explained Brittany, “all of which would be impossible for such a small staff if it weren't for their dedication and a ton of community support from volunteer boards, committees, groups and sponsors.”
When it comes time to put on this five-day event, the fair brings in more than 120 temporary staff and approximately 160 volunteer groups. And it’s not just by putting on this event that the North Idaho State Fair gives back to the community—they support and promote many causes as well.
“The North Idaho State Fair is always looking for ways to involve and give back to our community. During the fair, we offer discounted admission for wearing pink on Fridays in support of breast cancer awareness, and donations can be made to the Chicks N Chaps' cause (Kootenai Health Patient Support Fund and Fair Foundation) at their booth or in the Fair Office,” said Brittany.
Also, food donations will be accepted at the entry gates on Sunday of the fair this year. When you bring two or more non-perishable donations, you will receive $1 off your admission ticket. And as for those 160 volunteer groups that give of their time, the North Idaho State Fair donates to nonprofits and various local groups in trade for them volunteering their time at the fair.
“Every year the North Idaho State Fair contributes over $150,000 to the community through donations like these,” said Brittany.
While it’s difficult to track just how far people travel to attend the North Idaho State Fair, Brittany says they can always count on 4-H and open class exhibitors’ grandparents coming from places as far away as Florida, Wisconsin or North Dakota to witness their grandchildren’s entries.
“Our Gem State Stampede PRCA Rodeo attracts contestants and spectators from all over the country. But our most loyal base and who we cater this event toward is you! All the residents of the 10 northern-most counties of Idaho. We hope to see you there!”
The schedule for the fair can be found online at NISFair.fun. It is updated weekly as attractions and vendors are added. The printed event guide will highlight a daily schedule and will be available in the Fair Office early August or at each admission gate during the event.