This Nostalgic, Forgotten Boise River Festival Merch Gives Us All the Feels
We’re not going to pretend that the Boise Music Festival can come close to the magnitude of what the Boise River Festival once was.
The Boise River Festival earned the distinction of being “America’s Finest Family Festival” in its heyday and took over multiple venues in the city including Ann Morrison Park, Julia Davis Park and the parking lot of then Bronco Stadium. During the celebration, visitors could look forward to concerts, hot air balloon launches and night glow, carnival rides, fun runs and parades.
It's the parades Boise misses the most. At one point, the floats literally floated down the Boise River. KTVB’s 208 did a really cool recap of how these floats were created and how they navigated the many bridges crossing the river. Eventually, the floats on the river were phased out. Toward the end of its run, there were two land parades on Saturday.
The daytime River Giants parade included big helium balloons like the ones you’d see at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Later that evening, was the Nite-Lite Parade where the balloons, floats and other spectacles were lit up with all sorts of lights and glitter.
The festival traditionally concluded with an incredible 25-minute fireworks show produced by Zambelli Internationale, one of the best fireworks companies in the world. The last festival was held in 2003. According to the Idaho Business Review, the 2003 festival lost $160,000 but organizers planned to bring it back in 2004 anyway. That festival never materialized and now I
It's been 19 years since the final festival took place, but it does live on not just through memories but through some cool merch that was or is currently up for sale on eBay!