Late on June 22, with hours to go until the opening of the fifth-annual Idaho Green Expo, a beige haze appeared on the horizon west of Expo Idaho in Garden City. A wind storm briefly tore through the lot where tents stood waiting for the next morning, knocking them all over.
Expo volunteers spent eight hours putting them all back in place, just in time for the opening on June 23.
“We had to rebuild the place, practically,” said Greg Otero, one of the event’s managers.
This was the first year the Expo wasn’t held downtown at the Boise Centre. Though the Grove might have been safer from freak windstorms, another of the Expo’s administrators, Joanie Bear, said it needed “more of a festival feel.”
“There’s free parking,” she said about the new location. “You can’t do that downtown.”
Sitting on the grass in the shade of a tree near the entrance, Bear added, “And there’s something to be said about the outdoors.”
At the Expo, there are between 140-150 booths, 116 of which are inside the Expo building itself. Hidden from the summer sun are solar panel exhibits, geothermal water heater demonstrations, businesses selling everything from cookies to glassware, and even environmentally conscious clubs.
One of these clubs, the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club, kept a honeycomb teeming with honeybees between two sheets of glass so passersby could observe. The queen bee was marked with a yellow dot on her back as she laid her daily quota of some 1,200 eggs.
Lee and Don Johnson, new members of the club this year, said the club has about 300 members around the Treasure Valley, and that their Expo booth is one way the club attracts new members.
“There are backyard people all over Boise,” Don said.
Outside, country rock band New Transit played a set while little girls swarmed the We Rent Goats tent behind a small fleet of electric and hybrid cars in the afternoon sun. The Green Expo will continue today, Sunday, June 24 at 5610 N. Glenwood St. in Garden City from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Entry is $5 and children under 12 get in FREE.