Idaho City may exist today as a quick 40-ish minute escape from Boise, filled with neat old buildings and events like street dances, but 150 years ago, it was gold central. The town fell victim to the boom-bust fate of many Western places, with gold hunters making it the most populous city in the Northwest territory, and then leaving when the precious metal was gone.
You can celebrate the role gold played in creating the Boise Basin with the Sesquicentennial Celebration of Gold Discovery, featuring events in the historic town, as well as Placerville and Centerville. Things kicked off July 28 with opening ceremonies in Centerville and continue through Saturday, Aug. 4, in Idaho City and Placerville with plenty of partying. Here are highlights of some of the happenings:
Partake in gold panning, music, dancing and plenty of food at the Highway 21 Flea Market at Tom's Service Station Thursday, Aug. 2-Sunday, Aug. 5. Call 208-866-8454 for more info.
A Friday night shindig featuring lots of brats and beer will fill John Brogan park in Idaho City from 5-8 p.m., and a dance party will keep gold lovers on their feet until the wee hours of the night at the Community Hall, beginning at 8 p.m. Idaho's High Street Band will bring the party with its 10-piece band, five-piece horn section and colorful zoot suits. Tickets to the dance are $25, and the party is for the 21-and-older set. Call 208-392-4558 or visit boisebasin.lili.org for more info.
Saturday's events will include a costume parade, plein air painting and living history enactments in John Brogan Park from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Closing ceremonies for the gold celebration will be held in Placerville, where Saturday will be packed with events beginning at 1 p.m., including tours of the Placerville Masonic Lodge, old-fashioned games, a pig roast potluck and music.