A June fire wiped out a block of Idaho City businesses, but the town came together Sunday for a day-long party to raise money for those affected by the blaze.
The Idaho City Burn Out Bash was the culmination of several community-wide conversations over how to help the business owners. There were calls for a concert, a 5K and auctions. Ultimately, organizers decided to do it all on one day with a town-wide party that would show Idaho City still can entertain tourists, according to Michelle Audette who helped set up the event.
“A lot of people were just devastated and everybody in the Treasure Valley and the community wanted to have a place to be able to donate and help and give and get them restarted,” Audette said. “We wanted to be able to try and have...an official, accountable place for the donations to go, and then obviously try and put an event together.”
The day started off with a pancake feed that packed the community center, followed by a “run-and-walk” 5K and 1K. Two different band stages were put up to host more than a dozen bands set to play throughout the day. There was also a flea market, silent auction and shootout.
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“It is going fabulous. I am so impressed with the amount of people and the turnout we've had,” Audette said. “It's nice when you plan an event and everything seems to go as planned.”
Three businesses have already reopened: Sarsaparilla Ice Cream Parlor, Old Time Photo and Idaho City Trading Post have all found new locations.
Julie Randolph, who works at the ice cream parlor, said the owner reopened, in part, to help out the young employees who are saving money for college.
The parlor reopened at its new location, and was filled with customers Sunday.
The community has been a big help in getting the ice cream shop back on its feet, Randolph said.
“It's been really wonderful. That's part of the small town community: It's just like one big family,” she said. “We really help each other out no matter what.”