The prime motivation for organizing the great Idaho Intermountain Fair of 1897 was to show off the state’s resources to the region and the nation. A secondary benefit, certainly anticipated by Boise’s business community, was that it would attract lots of people to the capital city who might spend money. These goals have characterized fairs since the Middle Ages in Europe, whether sponsored by the church, by merchants or by guilds of craftsmen. Today nearly every American city has its fair or festival. These occasions furnish entertainment and education, help local business and contribute to local pride. They would not flourish unless people loved them. They certainly loved the 1897 fair, and in the 120 years since Idahoans have continued to support fairs at every level.