The North Idaho State Fair returns this August
By Taylor Shillam
The Kootenai County Fairgrounds welcomes back the North Idaho State Fair this August, now a tradition more than 100 years old! Arriving August 18 through 27, the fair has transformed over the decades to become a 10-day family friendly event, encompassing entertainment, education and community. With "Acres of Fun" promised in 2023, the North Idaho State Fair continues to grow and provide something to look forward to for all ages in Kootenai County and beyond.
In addition to the iconic atmosphere, fair food and countless vendors to explore, the North Idaho State Fair is known to fill its schedule with unique events, exhibits and entertainment. Highlights include the carnival attractions, livestock programs, ground attractions and the Findlay Arena events.
“We are always excited to share our Findlay Arena Show lineup,” says Alexcia Jordan, general manager for the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. “This year, we will have Big Air at the Fair, Monster Trucks, Party in the Dirt Concert Series, our incredible PRCA Rodeo, the Gem State Stampede, and we end with a long-time favorite—the Demo Derby!”
The fair’s entertainment features are curated with guests of all ages in mind, from the concert series' selected artists to multiple rodeo events and daily family friendly activities. This year’s Party in the Dirt Concert Series takes place August 21, 22 and 23 and includes GRAMMY® award-winning singer/songwriter Carly Pearce, popular country artist Chase Rice and well-known hip hop artist and prominent pop culture figure Lil Jon.
“Overall, we have had a very positive response to the whole lineup,” Alexcia says of the concert series. “We work really hard to see that the fair truly offers something fun for the whole family. This year, I think our team really has put together an incredible event.”
The highly anticipated Gem State Stampede PRCA Rodeo and Demolition Derby events are known to sell out, so guests are advised to plan ahead and buy their tickets early. Alexcia also recommends visiting the fair on opening day to take in the Drone Show.
“If you didn't get to see the Drone Show last year on opening day, I highly recommend coming out this year on opening night, August 18. As soon as it gets dark, look to the sky and you will see an incredible sight brought to us by Idaho Central Credit Union,” she says. While the Drone Show, illuminated by arena lights after sunset, can be seen from anywhere on the fairgrounds, the grandstands will have the best viewing point, and spectators will hear music the Drone Show is coordinated with.
Prior to the Drone Show is the Big Air at the Fair attraction, which involves X Gamers showing off their best tricks on dirt bikes, 4-wheelers and more.
A selection of grounds attractions is included for free with fair admission, including the popular Nascar RACING and Hang Bar Challenge, stunts by the Jetpack Flying Water Circus, activity-filled fun zones for the kids, and more. “We have so much to see, from thrill shows to educational shows and strolling acts around the grounds. “There is something for the whole family!” Alexcia says.
“Something not everyone knows about our local fair is it is not funded by tax dollars,” she adds. “We are fully self-sustaining, which is something our team is very proud of. We’re grateful to our sponsors and community that help us thrive!”
Another fair feature attendees don’t often know about is the free exhibits program, open to all residents of Idaho’s 10 northern counties.
Participants in the exhibits program “can compete for ribbons and prizes in all sorts of categories from canning, quilting, leather work, model building, and even Lego projects,” Alexcia shares. “We have hundreds of classes to participate in and divisions that everyone in the family can enter.”
Additional exhibit categories include culinary arts, home arts, and horticulture. Those interested in showcasing their talent in the fair’s exhibits program can register online now.
“Our team and Board work hard to bring the community together each year to preserve traditions and educate about agriculture,” Alexcia says, noting that the fair’s entertainment, food and shopping are only the beginning of the fun. “The North Idaho State Fair is unique, internationally award-winning, and dedicated to bringing families and friends together to make beautiful memories that last a lifetime.”
Tickets to the North Idaho State Fair and the Party in the Dirt concert series are available now. Plan your visit early and continue to check the fair website for the most up-to-date daily event schedules at NISFair.Fun.