1. Get fry high
You weren’t aware Friday is National French Fry Day? Try to catsup. A couple of salty events will benefit The Idaho Foodbank.
▪ J.R. Simplot Co. hosts its second annual Free Fry Day from 4 to 7 p.m. on Ninth Street between Simplot headquarters and JUMP. They’ll be pumping out 2,000 pounds of fries an hour. Attendees are asked to bring Foodbank donations. Give more than $15, and you get a “Frydaho” T-shirt.
▪ For a suggestion donation of $5 ($10 per family), hit up Lamb Weston’s National French Fry Day tasting event from 3 to 6 p.m. on Downtown Boise’s Basque Block. You’ll savor four different types of fries (and a soft drink), then vote for your fave via text message. Voting automatically enters you into a drawing to win free fries for a year. Three will be given away, plus other prizes such as fryers, Boise Hawks and Boise State Broncos tickets and an Idaho Potato Drop VIP swag basket. BSU cheerleaders will give out temporary tattoos. There also will be a massive french fry bowl photo booth.
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▪ Bonus: Foodbank staffers will mingle at these events, and if you make additional donations, you’ll get concert tickets: “Supporters who give less than $100 will receive four free tickets for the Mountain Home Country Music Festival’s Thursday Night Kick Off. ... Event attendees who give $100 or more will receive two Festival three-day wristbands to see artists such as Alan Jackson, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church and more.”
2. SMaSH something
▪ Fifteen Idaho breweries will bring a SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beer and another beer to SMaSHfest, which goes from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Ironwood Social, 5467 N. Glenwood St., in Garden City. You can buy individual pints, or $30 gets you unlimited pours and a commemorative glass. There also will be food, music and games.
▪ Or check out the newest beer-geek haven in Boise. Bru — Boise’s only self-pour taproom — opens at 5 p.m. Friday with 30 Idaho-only beers and ciders.
3. Go to concerts
4. Join the circus
▪ INo, it’s not a watered-down Cirque du Soleil. The touring Cirque Italia Water Circus is not the more famous Cirque, period. Once you grasp this, you’ll be able to start deciding whether the European-style, family-friendly show is for you. A huge tent will be set up at the Boise Towne Square parking lot, where multiple performances happen this weekend and next weekend. Yes, there’s a water stage. What exactly does it all mean? Check out reviews to educate yourself.
5. Get beamed up
▪ If you’re a fan of pop culture, you’ve gotta plan a day at Wizard World Comic Con. The touring pop-culture festival makes its first-ever Boise stop Friday through Sunday at the Boise Centre. William Shatner will pose for photos and autographs. So will Ron Perlman and other actors. There also will be tons of comic books, panels and other entertainment — not to mention Kato Kaelin.
6. Wheel Downtown
It’s a big weekend for cycling, and the Idaho Statesman’s Dave Southorn has the scoop. But here are quick basics.
▪ The 13.3-mile Chrono Kristin Armstrong road race makes its debut Friday, going from Star into Canyon County and ending at Firebird Raceway. Saturday is the annual Boise Twilight Criterium. Fun starts at 1 p.m. in Downtown Boise with the annual Kids’ Ride around Cecil D. Andrus Park. Action continues all afternoon after that, with women’s and men’s pro races starting at 7 and 8:15 p.m. Grab a clicker, make some noise — and remember to drink lots of water. (And maybe a beer or two.)