If you were hoping for a headline such as “5 amazing things you never knew about Hyde Park’s big bash” or “10 new things at the Hyde Park Street Fair,” um, sorry — not gonna happen.
Heading into its 37th year, Boise’s North End party at Camel’s Back Park is proudly predictable.
“We don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Just polish the spokes,” event coordinator Carl Scheider says.
C’mon. There has to be something new. Different colored tie-dye ink?
“Listen, what’s new at the fair this year? Well, we have 19 bands on the main stage and 30-plus on the secondary stage,” Scheider says. “The food court changes every year — like we get different food vendors in — but it’s the same place.
“How much can you change something that works? If it was broken, we’d change it every year. But it isn’t broken.”
The fair’s popularity attests to that. Around 30,000 bodies usually migrate through Camel’s Back Park over three days. With no Boise State football game to steal away potential festivalgoers this year, there should be a huge Saturday crowd. Festivalgoers will soak up a kaleidoscopic blend of 120 vendors, plus a neo-hippie rainbow of belly dancers and rock bands, hula hoopers and face painters.
It’s all exceedingly family-friendly — there’s even a kids area with all sorts of activities. “It’s great. You can drop the kids off, hang out all day and go drink beer,” Scheider quips.
If you’re a fan of local bands, the Hyde Park Street Fair also provides an excellent opportunity to catch up on the Boise music scene.
“It’s all local, all original,” Scheider says. “That’s the unique thing about it.”
Oh, and if you’re a newcomer puzzled by this “street fair not actually in a street” thing? Here’s the scoop: The original Hyde Park Street Fair took place a few blocks away on 13th Street. At the suggestion of the city, the North End Neighborhood Association moved it to the park in 1997, where it has blossomed into one of Boise’s most popular annual gatherings.
Since then, it keeps proving that some things never (and never should) change.
Hyde Park Street Fair
4 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 16, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 17 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 18, Camel’s Back Park, 1200 W. Heron St., Boise. northendboise.org.
5 to 5:45 p.m. — Buckskin
6 to 6:45 p.m. — Low-Fi
7 to 7:45 p.m. — a.k.a. Belle
8 to 9:30 p.m. — Steve Fulton Music
Noon to 12:45 p.m. — Blaze & Kelly
1 to 1:45 p.m. — Reilly Coyote
2 to 2:45 p.m. — Great Bait
3 to 3:45 p.m. — Rebecca Scott Band
4 to 4:45 p.m. — Jimmy Bivens Band
5 to 5:45 p.m. — The Country Club
6 to 6:45 p.m. — Innocent Man
7 to 7:45 p.m. — Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles
8 to 9:30 p.m. — Voice of Reason
11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Ben Burdick Trio
12:30 to 1:15 p.m. — Emily Tipton Band
1:30 to 2:15 p.m. — Coberly, Town & Day
2:30 to 3:15 p.m. — New Transit
3:30 to 4:15 p.m. — Thomas Paul & Friends
4:30 to 6 p.m. — Bill Coffey & His Cash Money Cousins