Annual Rupert Celebration Kicks off Friday
RUPERT, Idaho (KLIX) – For more than 100 years, Rupert has been Mini-Cassia’s focus come the Fourth of July. It’ll be the same this year – except this year there’ll be a couple of new events at Rupert’s annual five-day celebration.
The celebration kicks off this Friday, June 30, including a fireworks display that night.
But before the sky lights up, organizers have planned what they hope will become a tradition: “Nothin’ but Mutton Bustin’” will be held the first day, said event chairman Jason Gibbons. Rodeo and a bull’s competition were held during past celebrations, but this year they wanted to try something different. Also, instead of the annual 5k-10k event, this year there’ll be a 40k bike race.
“Those are a couple of the things new this year,” he said.
Gibbons said he grew up in Paul but remembers visiting Rupert for the annual parade as a child. It was a foreshadowing of his connection with the celebration later in life. He’s been chairman for 14 years, and he still gets excited about the parade and the other events.
“This is my 14th year as chairman and it’s amazing to me that we continue to have a five-day celebration,” he said. “It’s always exciting. I love the Fourth of July, I love celebrating with the community.”
The parade this year will start at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 4 at K and Sixth streets. According to Parade Committee Chairwoman Jackie Larsen, the parade will go down Sixth Street, travel around Rupert Square, turns right on F Street, then west on Eighth Street and ends near the Minidoka Memorial Hospital.
As of Tuesday, between 70 and 80 parade entries have been submitted, she said, but people can still sign up. Click here to view more information and a parade application.
Larsen said this is her first year on the committee, but she’s been coming to the celebrations for the better part of 40 years.
It is tradition for a lot of folks, she said, noting the event is fun for all ages. One family she met told her they plan their reunions around the city’s festivities. A bounce house, food vendors, live bands and lawnmower races will be among the activities.
Gibbons said the lawnmower races are popular. About a dozen racers sign up for the races, bringing different sizes of motors for the different classes.
And, he said, there’ll be music that most everyone should like – from bands that’ll play ‘50s through ‘70s music, to those with original music and more contemporary sounds.
“On opening night we probably have about 5,000 people at the square,” Gibbons said, noting it’s a great opportunity for residents to “interact with people you know. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate and recognize local veterans and all they’ve done for us.”
To see a full schedule of events, clink this link.
Gibbons said many people and organizations help make the celebration a success every year, including the area’s business community.
“We appreciate everyone that helps us in every way that they do and hope they enjoy this year’s celebration,” he said.