By the time you turn 40, your friends pretty much know what to expect of you.
That will be the case Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Hyde Park Street Fair. The annual North End bash at Camel’s Back Park has gotten its party vibe down to a science. And it’s free.
A few bands and vendors will change. Some fresh faces will appear. (Hello, transplants!)
But mostly, it’s a near-perfect, end-of-summer Boise ritual. Been that way for decades.
“We don’t try to reinvent the wheel,” longtime event coordinator Carl Scheider likes to say. “Just polish the spokes.”
The atmosphere is inclusive and family-friendly. There’s tons of music, food, crafts and beer. Belly dancers, too. Oh, and tie-dye.
There’s even a dedicated kids area with a bounce house. (Dump the rugrats there and go tear it up, Mom!)
Yet teenagers show up to the Hyde Park Street Fair, too. So it must be cool.
Like the Western Idaho Fair, adults can walk around while sipping beer, which is sold on site.
Unlike the Western Idaho Fair, vendors focus on arts and crafts more than commercial endeavors. A whopping 127 vendors are expected this year, plus another 13 in the food court.
All the bands are local. Nineteen acts are scheduled on the main stage, plus another 30 or so on the community stage. No cover bands are allowed, but you’ll hear a few cover songs. Jam bands love noodling around with covers. (Main stage headliners: Jeff Crosby from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Steve Fulton Music from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Matt Hopper & the Roman Candles from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday.)
Be warned: Parking could be semi-challenging. You might have to walk a few blocks. An estimated 30,000 people usually attend. The North End gets transformed into a parking lot. (Thanks in advance for your patience, local residents.)
Ride a bike. Or take the free shuttle from True Hope Church (formerly First Baptist Church), which is located at 607 N. 13th St. The shuttle runs in a continuous loop from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. But you’re on your own Sunday. (People go to church there on Sunday, right?)
In other words, it’s all business as usual on this 40th year.
“We’re putting together something special that we’re going to try Saturday night,” Scheider says. “But I can’t tell you anything about it. In the main stage area. We won’t know until tomorrow night if it’s going to work.”
By the way, if you’re a newcomer scratching your head about a street fair not actually happening in a street? The original event was a much smaller affair. It took place a few blocks away on 13th Street. Eventually, the North End Neighborhood Association moved it to the park in 1997, where it has grown into one of Boise’s most popular annual gatherings. The Hyde Park Street Fair is NENA’s biggest yearly fundraiser.
Fair hours are 4 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
MAIN STAGE LINEUP
(Subject to change)
Friday, Sept. 13
5-5:45 p.m.: Sherpa
6-6:45 p.m.: New Transit
7-7:45 p.m.: Jupiter Holiday
8-9:30 p.m.: Jeff Crosby Band
Saturday, Sept. 14
12-12:45 p.m.: Alturas
1-1:45 p.m.: Red Light Challenge
2-2:45 p.m.: Voice Of Reason
3-3:45 p.m.: Kayleigh Jack Band
4-4:45 p.m.: The Hoochie Coochie Men
5-5:45 p.m.: The Country Club
6-6:45 p.m.: Thomas Paul Band
7-7:45 p.m.: Like A Rocket
8-9:30 p.m.: Steve Fulton Music
Sunday, Sept. 15
11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Sono Fuego
12:30-1:15 p.m.: Emily Tipton Band
1:30-2:15 p.m.: aka Belle
2:30-3:15 pm.: Coberly, Town & Day
3:30-4:15 p.m.: Buddy DeVore & The Faded Cowboys
4:30-6 p.m.: Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles