Words & Deeds

5 things to do in Boise on Labor Day Weekend: Balloon up, do Latino Fest, be a Hermit

Spirit of Boise balloons launch over Boise

Ride with Boise pilot Randy Ashton, who launched with 30 other balloons in the 25th annual Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic in 2016. Balloons will fly throughout the weekend, launching from Ann Morrison Park. Ashton's balloon is called "Damnit Irvi
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Ride with Boise pilot Randy Ashton, who launched with 30 other balloons in the 25th annual Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic in 2016. Balloons will fly throughout the weekend, launching from Ann Morrison Park. Ashton's balloon is called "Damnit Irvi

1. Balloon up

Have you noticed colorful hot air balloons floating above Boise? The annual Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic has soared back into Ann Morrison Park. Through Sunday, morning launches start at 6:45 a.m. (weather cooperating) and go until balloons land — usually between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. The big family event is the Night Glow, which happens from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday. Pilots will crank the fuel and unleash a massive “glow show.” Admission is free. Online: spiritofboise.com.

2. Eat, drink, celebrate

Head for the Greenbelt and Experience Garden City from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. Dozens of vendors will showcase the burgeoning 34th Street area. Entertainment will include local wine and beer, food trucks, artists, kids’ activities, music and more. The fun happens from the Boise River to Chinden Boulevard. Online: experiencegardencity.com.

Pineapple Express restaurant, 499 S. Main St. in Meridian, is celebrating its one-year anniversary on Friday. That means it’s time for a Hawaiian fusion party, along with the premiere of an Aloha Friday lunch buffet (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.). There’s a happy hour (4 to 6 p.m.), dinner buffet (5 to 8 p.m.), a luau with a pig roast (6 p.m.) and hula dancers (6:30 p.m.) Hourly prize drawings will start at noon and go into the evening. Online: kanak.co.

White Dog Brewing, 705 W. Fulton St. in Boise, is hosting a two-year anniversary shindig all weekend. There’s too much to list — the fun runs Friday through Sunday. But you can expect fresh beer releases (including a “Tapping of the Rum Scotch Firkin” at 7 p.m. Friday), live music, brewery tours, a bike raffle to benefit Boise Bicycle Project and more. Hit Facebook for details.

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Go ahead. "Pig" out in Meridian this weekend. Pineapple Express

3. Go to a concert

Hermit Music Festival: At this seventh annual event, the focus is on acoustic jams. You’ll find concerts, workshops, camping, food trucks, beer and wine, kids activities and more. It runs Thursday through Sunday at Indian Creek Winery, 1000 N. McDermott Road in Kuna, and at a handful of Boise venues. $30-$60. Online: hermitmusicfestival.com.

Josh Groban: It’s girls night out at 8 p.m. Friday. The international star headlines Outlaw Field at the Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 N. Penitentiary Road, Boise. $75-$199. Ticketmaster.

Junior Brown: The Guit-Steel king returns to Boise at 8 p.m. Friday at The Olympic, 1009 Main St., Boise. Opening: The Country Club. $25 at eventbrite.com. $30 at the door.

Music on the Mountain: Beat the heat Saturday by visiting higher elevations at Bogus Basin. This free event features DJ Sharlese, Matt Hopper & the Roman Candles, and Jeff Crosby & the Refugees. Music, beer and recreational activities go from noon to 6 p.m. at the Simplot Base area. Online: bogusbasin.org.

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Josh Groban will croon outdoors at Outlaw Field on Friday. Carolyn Kaster AP

4. Get some culture

It got too big for the Basque Block, so Latino Fest Boise is moving to Cecil D. Andrus Park, 601 W. Jefferson St. From 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, you’ll enjoy music from Eddy Manzanares & Cafe Blanco Band, Special Reserve and Colombian salsa singer Danny Daniel. Plus, there will be children’s workshops; traditional dancers representing multiple countries; and lots of great Mexican, Cuban, Peruvian, Argentine and Colombian food. DJ Giovanni will spin Latin tunes, too.

Japan Day takes over the Basque Center, 601 W. Grove St., from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday. Performances will include traditional Japanese dance, koto (a Japanese stringed musical instrument), calligraphy, shishimai (lion dance), shamisen, taiko (traditional Japanese drumming) and martial arts. There also will be lots of food vendors. (Bring on Sushi Shack and Genki Takoyaki!) Admission is free. Online: idahojapaneseassociation.org.

5. Play ball (with a bang)

Watch the Boise Hawks take on the Hillsboro Hops for three straight nights at Memorial Stadium, 5600 N. Glenwood St. The games start at 7:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with a postgame fireworks display. (On Saturday, the first 1,000 fans also receive a team poster, which players will autograph afterward.) On Labor Day, the first pitch is at 5:15 p.m. Tickets run from $8-$17. Online: boisehawks.com.

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Michael Deeds is an entertainment reporter and opinion columnist at the Idaho Statesman. Since starting at the Statesman as a news intern in 1991, he has been a sportswriter and features/entertainment editor. Deeds also has freelanced for The Washington Post, Relix, Country Weekly, Velo News, Beer Advocate and more.
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