Do you ever wake up in the morning just wishing you could sip a cold beer while floating the Boise River?
Wait, youre still asleep and dreaming. That type of lunacy could never happen here.
Lets start over.
Do you ever wake up in the morning just wishing you could attend a free, community-embracing music festival in a park? Or a two-day beer festival in a park?
Or drag a lawn chair Downtown and take the kids to a classic-car cruise on a summer night?
You can do those things. Just drive a few minutes away from Idahos capital city.
Dont look now, big ol Boise, but your opportunistic neighbor villages are stealing your fun.
River-floating beer prohibitions (and strip club nudity bans) notwithstanding, Boise appears to be metamorphosing into the Treasure Valleys new no-fun zone.
The Boise Music Festival jumped ship for Garden Citys Expo Idaho after two years at Ann Morrison Park. (More on that in a sec.)
After three years at Ann Morrison, the Barley Bros. Traveling Beer Show yanked its taps and will set up at Meridians Julius M. Kleiner Park Aug. 31-Sept. 1 instead. (The festivals owner couldnt make nice with Boise city officials.)
And Northwest Motorfest, which has hosted a Saturday night cruise in Downtown Boise for seven years, will take the parade to Meridian on July 14. For the first time, the Twilight Criterium is being held the same evening that the Capital City Cruise was planned.
Compromises were discussed, says Northwest Motorfest owner Jack Armstrong. But when all was said and done, we got kicked out.
Really, Boise? Muscle cars chased out of town by Spandex shorts? We couldnt find a way for two popular, family-friendly shindigs to coexist?
Music festival. Beer festival. Car cruise. Maybe these disappearances are totally unrelated. But it sure feels like a mini-exodus lately.
Meanwhile, Boises little sister Meridian is ready to rock. Thats clear not just from the open arms for the kegger at Kleiner Park, but from the newly opened parks instant plunge into the party biz.
Barbecue smoke just cleared from Kleiner, where it welcomed Northwest Ribfest two weekends ago. (And, yes, that event probably could have been better organized. The Statesman was even informed that $oul Purpo$e and the Rocci Johnson Band would play, so Scene listed them. Neither performed.)
Im starting to rethink my Boise Snob Mandate that I cant leave the city limits to party. Well all be sneaking over to Garden City soon enough for live music when Revolution Concert House opens.
It boils down to whether Boise wants to work hard to host entertaining, often outdoor events.
When we finally got the call from the mayors office that they could not accommodate us, Armstrong remembers, I just politely said, Thank you, well take it someplace else.
Does Boise want to be an exciting metropolis or a sleepy city? Is there a middle ground for having fun?
Maybe we should get together and take long, thoughtful puffs on a peace pipe in a bar while we ponder this complicated issue.
Oh wait the smoking ban.
Meet you in Kuna.
MUSIC FESTIVAL AFTERMATH
Whats the only major complaint about the Boise Music Festival, which survived its relocation to Expo Idaho last weekend?
That headliner LL Cool J didnt remove his shirt.
Thats according to Kevin Godwin, senior vice president for festival organizer Peak Broadcasting.
Did you attend? What did you think? Peak wants your input. Hit my blog for a link to a survey.
Peak distributed about 70,000 free tickets, but nobody seems to be sure how many people attended. Volunteers didnt use ticket counters at the gates, Godwin says. Doh!
Plans already are under way for another Boise Music Festival, but it may or may not be at Expo Idaho. Godwin says theyve received 99 percent positive feedback about the new venue. We will gather our numbers and feedback from our surveys, he says.
Go get em, Meridian.
Michael Deeds column runs Friday in Scene and Sunday in Life. He hosts The Other Studio at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.