Get Old School at Boise Music Fest 

Saturday, July 23 at Ann Morrison Park

Though you won't be able to witness Rock of Love reality star Bret Michaels sport his cowboy-hat-over-bandana look, or to show off your mascara-streaked cheeks after crying tears of joy while reliving the glory days of the Backstreet Boys, the Boise Music Festival is returning this year with plenty of killer acts to catapult you back to the '80s and '90s music scene.

Christening the Main stage at 2:15 p.m. is local Rocci Johnson with the Divas of Boise, who've been performing for 20 years. Performances by He is We, Rock Mafia, Andy Grammer and SafetySuit follow. But the evening really kicks into nostalgic gear with performances by Sugar Ray, MC Hammer and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. There will also be four smaller stages around the park that will feature 30 local acts beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. A full lineup can be found on the festival's website.

But there's a lot more than music that makes this all-day event rockin'. There will be 200 vendors offering arts, crafts, food and entertainment spread throughout the park. In addition, there will be a play area for kids (complete with bounce houses) and two beer and wine gardens. Also making a return this year is the Boise Music Festival BBQ Cook-Off, an open-entry competition. Any barbecue fans--whether they are professionals or simply masters of the backyard 'cue--are encouraged to sign up, show their stuff and get a shot at the $10,000 prize money. The judging and finale will take place at 2:30 p.m.

After attracting more than 70,000 spectators in 2010, organizers are fine tuning things for the festival's second year. The main stage has been relocated to a larger area--east of the fountain by the soccer fields--to accommodate the crowd, and the number of volunteers has been increased to ensure that everything runs smoothly. For more information on maps, parking, events and entry for the BBQ Cook-Off, visit

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