There's a lot to celebrate over the July 4th weekend with the convergence of Independence Day and the city's sesquicentennial.
BREAKFAST AND A PARADE
Start July 4 off in Julia Davis Park with a pancake breakfast served by the Gem State Kiwanis Club. You'll find big band music on the Gene Harris Bandshell, face painting and enough food to get you going for the day.
Then head to Downtown Boise for the annual We the People Liberty Day Parade at 11 a.m.
CHALK ART FESTIVAL
The Idaho Statesman's fourth annual Chalk Art Festival will take over Ann Morrison Park at 8 a.m. July 4. You're invited to join in the festival as a chalk artist (either on your own or with a team). Register at IdahoStatesman.com/ChalkArt.
Or just come to the park to gaze at all the action. There also will be featured professional artists on hand creating amazing works of art with chalk. They include:
- Geoffrey Everts' wildly whimsical murals hint at his background as a Disney animator. This is his fourth year as a featured artist.
- Karen Bubb - who also is Boise's public arts manager - creates bold and colorful works that are always attention-grabbers. This is her third year as a featured artist.
- This is painter Marcus Pierce's second turn as a featured chalk artist. He's received a Boise City Artist in Residence fellowship and most recently created the beautiful wildlife mural at the M.K. Nature Center.
- Boise artist Lauren T. Kistner has been an Artist in Residence fellow and created one of the popular Traffic Box public art pieces. She draws on the natural world for her delicate and organic images. This is also her second year as a featured artist.
- Treasure Valley Artists Alliance co-founder Melissa Chambers is a first-timer at the Chalk Festival. She's an expressive artist who paints colorful designs on everything from furniture to floors.
There will be lots of activities for kids during the festivities, from drawing their own murals in Chalk Land, starting at 11 a.m., and games with Boise Parks and Recreation's mobile recreation program starting at 1 p.m.
The choreographed fireworks go off at dusk on the east side of the Ann Morrison Park fountain. The fireworks are presented by the city of Boise, Idaho Statesman and Journal Broadcast Group. The glittering spectacle will be broadcast live on KIVI Channel 6 with the accompanying music simulcast on 107.1 FM K-HITS.
There will be food vendors and entertainment in the park as well. For event updates and volunteer information, visit IdahoStatesman.com/fireworks.
On July 5 and 6, you can take a step into Boise's past and stroll the city's original plat (the first streets that became Boise), which was created on July 7, 1863. The Department of Arts and History will host guided walking tours starting at the Sesqui-Shop, 1008 W. Main St., Downtown Boise throughout both days. To volunteer to lead a tour, contact Amy Fackler, Boise city cultural programs manager, at 433-5675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
F Also take one of the docent-led tours of Julia Davis Park leaving from the Idaho Historical Museum in Julia Davis Park on July 7. Tours will also be offered at 4 p.m. on First Thursdays through September.
BOISE 150 CELEBRATION
Boise's birthday party kicks off at 11:30 a.m. July 7 with a bicycle parade led by Mayor Dave Bieter from City Hall, 150 N. Capitol Blvd. (Park in the Boise Bicycle Project's corral.)
Activities in the park start at noon with music by Finn Riggins, a.k.a. Belle and others at the Gene Harris Bandshell. There also will be a mayoral proclamation, performances by Ballet Idaho and the city's Cultural Ambassadors - Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Trey McIntyre Project - and the reading of a new poem by the city's poet laureate Diane Raptosh.
Two Art Attack areas will offer chances to see performances by Balance Dance Co., storyteller Ben Kemper, the Summerwind Skippers and Boise Rock School. At the Idaho State Historical Museum pavilion you can see a vintage fashion show and groove to the sounds of Global Lounge, a group made up of musicians from Boise's refugee community.
You'll find two beer gardens pouring local brews and wine, and a fleet of about 20 food trucks.
Find more information at Boise150.org.
Dana Oland is a former professional dancer and membr of Actors Equity who writes about performing and visual arts for the Idaho Statesman. She also writes about food, wine, pets, jazz and other aspects of the good life in Boise. Read more arts coverage in her new blog at Voices.IdahoStatesman.com/oland.