A new word has entered Boise's collective lexicon this year—sesquicentennial—noting the 150th anniversary of Boise's official founding. As part of a full year of events, the city finally gets to blow out all 150 candles on its birthday cake Sunday, July 7.
The pre-party kicks off at 11:30 a.m., when Boise Mayor Dave Bieter leads a bike parade from Boise City Hall to Julia Davis Park. The party then gets started with musical and theatrical performances throughout the park, including performances from the city's own indie rockers Finn Riggins, alt-rock-country band a.k.a Belle and acoustic songsmith Steve Fulton, among others. All the artists are featured on the Boise 150 CD, which will be on sale at the event.
Boise's co-cultural ambassadors, Trey McIntyre Project and Idaho Shakespeare Festival, will put on special performances to mark the occasion. TMP will perform a trio of dances to music from The Beatles, Roy Orbison and Roberta Flack. ISF is trimming down the Bard in its "10 Minute Romeo And Juliet." If that whets your appetite for star-crossed lovers, Ballet Idaho will perform "Balcony Pas De Deux" from the operatic adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy.
Other events include storytelling, cowboy poetry and performances by Summerwind Skippers, Idaho Korean Association, Balance Dance, Mexican Folkloric Dancers and Bala Boise West African Drum and Dance—all of which will be held throughout the day. Visitors can also take guided tours of areas throughout the park.
Boiseans are also going to have to come face-to-face with their past fashion crimes at a special fashion show highlighting changing styles from 1860-1960. A vintage car display will feature local firehouse favorite, Old No. 13—still running after 84 years.
The Idaho State Historical Museum opens its doors for free during the party, allowing everyone to see local celebrity Deja Moo--a stuffed two-headed calf that has been a staple of the museum since the 1950s. Living history will come in the form of the Idaho Civil War volunteers.
As with all good community events, food and drink will be available from local food trucks, including Boise Fry Company, Goody's and The Pie Hole. Payette Brewing will supply the beer—and is also unveiling its exclusive Boise 150 Brew—with wines provided by Cellar 616 and Indian Creek Winery.
Since Julia Davis Park isn't exactly known for its abundant parking, a bike corral will be set up behind the bandshell. For those who drive, a free shuttle runs every 20 minutes from three parking locations: the Brady parking garage at Boise State University, the Myrtle Street parking garage and the universal access parking area inside the park for disabled parking.
We can't wait to see what they do in 2038 for the septaquintaquinquecentennial.