1) RIDE, BABY, RIDE
This year, you can again splash down with the wet-’n’-wild White Water Log Flume Ride or get crazy on the thrilling Vertigo and Fireball rides. Or you can chill with the kids on two new rides: Spinning Family Coaster and Pirate Jet are new to U.S. fairs this year.
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Midway tickets are $1 each (rides require multiple tickets); $23 for a sheet of 25; $70 for 80; $30 for a one-day wrist band. IdahoFair.com.
2) NEW GROUNDS ACTS TO CATCH
• “Kachunga Alligator Show” pits a trained Florida bushman against a 300-pound alligator right before your eyes. The show started as an educational outreach program for schools. Now, it is a favorite at fairs across the country. They wrestle at 2, 5 and 8 p.m. Aug. 21-29 and 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Carnival Gate.Kachunga.com
• The traveling performance troupe Circus Imagination brings the magic of theater alive as it recruits kids from the audience to become the stars of a pretend circus. Come play along at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Aug. 21-29, (with an additional show at 2 p.m. Aug. 26) and 12:30, 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 30 on the north side of the Expo Building.CircusImagination.com
• The BMX Pros Team Tricks have performed at NFL and NBA halftimes and major corporate events. See these bikers and boarders flip and fly off the half pipe at the fair. Shows are at 2, 5 and 8 p.m. Aug. 21-29 and 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Aug. 30 in the Western Town parking lot. Link to more information on the group’sFacebook page
3) ON THE BIG STAGE
• Aug. 25: Nashville recording artist Jerrod Niemann brings his “Blue Bandana” tour to the Treasure Valley. This Top 40 singer and songwriter has written hits for Blake Shelton and Garth Brooks.JerrodNiemannOfficial.com
• Aug. 26: Canadian post-grunge rockers Theory of a Deadman hit the stage with the flavor of Nickelback and a bucket full of hits.TheoryOfADeadman.com
• Aug. 27: Seasoned-country artist Gary Allan will perform songs from throughout his career, including his latest single “Hangover Tonight” from his “Tenth Studio Album.”GaryAllan.com
• Aug. 28: Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo canceled at the last minute. Queensryche has been booked as a replacement. The progressive heavy-metal band is known for songs such as “Eyes of a Stranger” (1988) and “Silent Lucidity” (1990).
All shows are at 7:30 p.m. and are free with fair admission.
4) NEW FAIR FOOD
• Leave the diet at home. The folks who brought you the Colossal Onion will serve up three new deep-fried treats this year: batter-coated, fried watermelon on a stick, a pickle-stuffed corn dog and deep-fried mac-’n’-cheese.
• Boise’s Blue Feather Mobile Bakery will be on hand with pies. Former high school family consumer science teacher Fanua Matagi started her business four years ago, and it’s taken off. Her 5-inch personal pies are filled with lemon curd, rocky road, peach, apple or mixed berry fillings.
5) ON EXHIBIT
• Check out the Urban Garden near the Project Filter Stage and learn how to plant your own container garden. It was created by a partnership of the Boise Urban Garden School and the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation’s High Five Initiative.
• You’ll find all sorts of fun with animals this year. Watch 4-H competitions in the Livestock Barn. Check out the dairy goat milking competitions in the Sheep Ring and don’t miss the always popular “How to Give a Chicken a Bath” in the Small Animal Barn.
6) PROMOTIONAL DAYS
• Aug. 21: Admission is free from noon to 2 p.m.
• Aug. 24: KTVB Family Day is a smoke- and alcohol-free day at the fair. Get one gate admission and one carnival wristband for $25.
• Aug. 30: Idaho Statesman half-price admission day and Armed Services Day. Admission is free for all active duty military and veterans. All other admission is half off with the Idaho Statesman coupon, which you can clip from the paper Aug. 24-29. The day includes free rides on The Giant Wheel and Carousel.
• The Fair Deals Coupon Book will get you discounts on food and more. Pick one up for $5 at any Statesman fair booth.