Downtown events return to encourage local business patronage 

Brooke Strickland//May 18, 2022

Downtown events return to encourage local business patronage 

Brooke Strickland//May 18, 2022

The pandemic may have reshaped how events operated during the last couple of years, including as recently as last holiday season for some areas, but looking ahead to this summer, cities around Idaho have expressed excitement for getting back to hosting a summer of fun while supporting local businesses. 

The Capitol Contemporary Gallery is open during Downtown Boise’s October First Thursday in 2021. Photo by Pete Grady Photography

Jennifer Hensley, executive director of Downtown Boise Association (DBA), said, “Downtown Boise holds the largest concentration of independent businesses in the state of Idaho, and it’s no secret that the greatest strength in our downtown is its people — business owners and patrons alike. There’s a renewed excitement for summer events in our organization and throughout our downtown community.”  

“The ability to provide free, accessible activities to individuals and families in a time when affordability is such a concern is a unique offering within our downtown, the heart of our city,” Hensley added. “We are excited to not just offer free activities, but to elevate their quality through new partnerships deepening our connection to celebrated downtown organizations and long-term partners.” 

Emily Boyd, executive director of the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association, shared similar sentiments. “The downtown businesses are our why,” she said. “Our goals when planning downtown events are to generate foot traffic, introduce people to a store they may have not been to before and create an environment for sales.” 

Boyd added, “Oftentimes, different events cater to different business types. Whether it’s enjoying one of the many downtown events or shopping and dining, we hope you experience the great hospitality and unique character downtown Coeur d’Alene has to offer!” 

Boise events 

Supersized First Thursday:
Happening every first Thursday from 5-9 p.m. in May, June, August, September and October, these events encourage visitors to visit Downtown Boise businesses to experience shopping, art, dining and entertainment. The DBA plans to partner with performing artists, musicians and other nonprofit organizations to welcome people to local businesses around the area. 

Ballet Idaho dancing while the Boise Phil plays in Freak Alley Gallery at the May 2021 Supersized First Thursday. Photo courtesy of Downtown Boise Association


Father’s Day Car Show:
Back for its 19th year, this event showcases vehicles of all kinds, from classic to electric. This year, part of the show will happen in front of the state Capitol Building. This is a free event.  

Alive After 5:
Celebrating its 35th season, this event begins on June 15 with a musical lineup touted as bigger and more exciting than years past. The free summer concert series features live music on Wednesdays throughout the summer, thanks in part to the DBA’s new partnership with Duck Club.  

There are a variety of other events happening around Downtown Boise, too, and an online events calendar here has details.  

Lewiston events

Crazy Days:
Happening June 10 and 11, this Downtown Lewiston event hosts crazy sales at local businesses, fun family activities and live music.

Sound Downtown:
Starting July 8, there will be eight Fridays featured in this summer concert series at Brackenbury Square. Concerts begin at 6 p.m. and are family-friendly, with beer and wine available by Hops & Vine. More information about the lineup is available online here.    

A look at Sherman Ave. in downtown Coeur d’Alene, in July 2017. File photo.

Coeur d’Alene events 

Car d’Lane:
Happening Father’s Day weekend, this family-friendly event is celebrating its 31st year and is well-loved by locals and visitors alike. It is one of the largest attended events in downtown and this year, it will have added fun with the Tour d’Lane and the Sunset Cruise that launches on June 16. The Sunset Spin gives participants the opportunity to joyride to the oldest restaurant in Idaho, experiencing scenic views along the Coeur d’Alene River. Tour d’Lane requires registration and is a new and exclusive cruise around the town that has pitstops at Classic Garage Automobile Restoration, Hagadone Marine and a local brewery.  

Street Fair:
Happening Aug. 5-7, the 30th annual event will feature over 250 vendors, including food, fine art, crafts and more. The event takes place in the heart of downtown and all ages are welcome.  

Idaho Falls events 

Idaho Falls Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K
Happening on July 30, this year’s event will feature the scenic beauty of Eastern Idaho’s Upper Snake River valley. The course begins at the top of Sunnyside Road to the southeast of Idaho Falls, and then along the road into town. 

Event attendees gather in downtown Idaho Falls during the winter season. Photo courtesy of Idaho Falls Downtown Development

Idaho Falls Pride Parade and Festival:
This 10th annual event will take place on June 25 and will feature a parade, festival and after party.   

Idaho Falls Gallery Walk:
Happening on June 2, July 7, Aug. 4, Sept. 1 and Oct. 6, visitors can enjoy work from artists around the region and the globe at various community galleries, museums and artisan stores. Various locations will host live music, artist demos and food. Admission is free.