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Eastern Idaho State Fair kicks off Friday

August 28, 2018
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The swing ride Vertigo is seen reflected in Latavia Norris' glasses during the East Idaho Fair in Blackfoot in September 02, 2017.

The Eastern Idaho State Fair kicks off Friday for a nine-day stint of rides, food, exhibits, competitions, concerts and lots of gee-whiz shows.

Fair General Manager Brandon Bird says the fair’s importance to the region can’t be over emphasized.

“The fair is a reflection of the greatness of the community and people of eastern Idaho,” Bird said. “It’s also a reunion of the friends and family in the community each year.”

Besides the community coming together, the fair also gives the area an economic boost.

“There is a significant financial impact of the fair,” he said. “We employ nearly 300 people during the nine days this year and $6 to $8 million in sales transactions will happen. And most of the vendors are from here in eastern Idaho, so it directly benefits the lives of people here.”

Bird said there are a few new must-see events at the fair. One is a high-flying stunt: a leap from 80 feet.

“At the West Events Area, this year we’re bringing a family friendly high dive act that’s very entertaining,” he said. “Talented divers will be jumping into a pool of water right before your eyes doing different tricks.”

Bird also is promoting an expanded gardening demonstration area near entrance Gate No. 6. Experts will be doing presentations and answering questions all day.

Expect many of the favorite attractions, such as a petting zoo, animal competitions, a dog show, food and craft competitions and free stage shows. Stage shows feature magicians, a hypnotist (Lizzy the Dream Girl), and professional bands (Rock Bottom Boys and Jeanne Coady). The carnival rides start at noon each day and end at 11 p.m.

Grandstand events, some costing extra, include bull riding championships, pari-mutuel racing and Indian relay races, tractor pulls, pro rodeo and country-western concerts.

“Intermixed with the pari-mutuel horse racing events is the Indian Relay National Championships,” Bird said. “It’s been a long tradition here. It’s one of the most exciting events on the fairgrounds, also one of the most daring events. It is electrifying.”

To get the most from the experience Bird suggests reviewing the calendar of events and planning where and when different features occur.

“We challenge people to take a look at something they haven’t been to before and we guarantee they’ll have a great experience,” he said.

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