A Star-Studded 4th of July Celebration in Sun Valley (and How to Keep the Party Going the Rest of the Year)
Fireworks after the Ice Show
Fireworks after the Ice Show
Grab your best Western attire.
The gang's all here.
Even the pooches get festive
So many antiques, so little time.
When you picture a slice of classic Americana: small towns, old cars, and friendly townsfolk probably come to mind.
It’s time to slow your hectic life and celebrate the red, white, and blue as it should be celebrated. Because nowhere does Independence Day quite like Hailey, Idaho.
As part of the Sun Valley community, the country’s first destination ski resort, the neighboring towns of Hailey and Ketchum are steeped in history and oozing with charm you may have only read about in textbooks. A town stuck in time, peruse the buildings of former mints and saloons and reminisce about days gone by, old architecture memorialized as storefronts that have been morphed into modern sushi restaurants, BBQ joints, and boutiques while still retaining their character and the legends steeped in the walls.
Here’s a sampling of how Hailey goes all out for the 4th, as we can only imagine 2016 will be even bigger and better. The next time July rolls around (or you just feel like getting patriotic), forgo the fireworks on the lake for something a little more memorable.
It’s sure to become the new family tradition.
A Parade to Put You in the Mood – Horses, bikes, trucks, balloons, and flags, the parade is pure PG family fun. Morphing Main Street into a pedestrian-friendly walkway, it doesn’t take long to see just how festive the Hailey community gets with people coming out in droves to cheer on the floats.
Travel Mindset Tip: Wagon Days in Ketchum (Labor Day weekend) is another not-to-miss event celebrating the good ‘ole days. One of the largest parades of non-motorized vehicles in the Pacific Northwest, it features museum quality wagons, buggies, and stagecoaches to ogle at.
A Whole Town To Do – With live music and BBQ smokers setting the air ablaze with delicious scents and joyful tunes, it’s a post-parade parking lot party. There are bouncy houses for the little ones to play on and famer’s markets to peruse. In short? It’s one seemingly endless block party.
Travel Mindset Tip: If you want to see the townsfolk at play the rest of the year, the weekly farmer’s market in downtown Ketchum is always buzzing. Be sure to check out the area’s stacked events calendar for festivals happening throughout the year and don’t miss the weekly summer concert series put on by the Sun Valley Symphony, the largest free symphony in America.
Go Back in Time – Browse the antique show and classic cars before grabbing some fries and a shake (I recommend marshmallow) from the Snow Buddy Drive-in, a retro burger joint reminiscent of your raucous high school hangouts that feels like it came straight off the set of The Breakfast Club.
Travel Mindset Tip: Another great spot to see classic Americana year-round is at the Ore Wagon Museum in Ketchum. Pulled by a string of mules, the wagons once traveled through Central Idaho’s mountains on dirt roads delivering mail, food and goods to mining camps.
Cheer on the Cowboys – Saddle up your horses, and tighten your britches because the rodeo has been a Hailey tradition since 1947 and you can feel the town swell with pride over their Wild West roots. The red, white and blue affair opened with “American Child,” the perfect country anthem to set the mood for the crowning of the rodeo royalty before whooping it up with the bull riders under the stars.
Travel Mindset Tip: Channel your inner cowboy or cowgirl at the Sun Valley Stables. With guided horseback rides in the summer and carriage rides in winter, you’ll be ready for the rodeo in no time!
Watch the Fireworks (With Olympians!) – Almost an 80-year tradition, the Sun Valley Ice Show is a star-studded performance with weekly headliners by former Olympic greats. Meryl Davis and Charlie White stole the show in a truly magical arena lit up by sparkling red and blue glow necklaces and an electric atmosphere thanks to the sold-out crowd. Directly afterwards, the fireworks were timed to “Three Cheers to the Red, White and Blue” and other patriotic melodies for the spectators and performers to enjoy.
Travel Mindset Tip: The ice show runs almost every week of summer so be sure to catch your favorite stars. You can also practice your best triple lutz or toe loop on the outdoor ice rink that’s open year-round for lessons, free skating or hockey in winter!
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