Bellevue, Idaho is a charming small town nestled in the heart of the Wood River Valley. Known for its picturesque landscapes and friendly community, Bellevue is also home to a variety of festivals that celebrate the town's unique culture and traditions. From music and art to food and history, these festivals offer a glimpse into the rich heritage of Bellevue and its people.
The History of Festivals in BellevueThe tradition of festivals in Bellevue dates back to the early 1900s when the town was first established. The annual Fourth of July celebration was one of the first festivals to be organized, bringing together the community for a day of parades, picnics, and fireworks.
Over the years, more festivals were added to the town's calendar, each with its own set of traditions and rituals. Today, Bellevue hosts several festivals throughout the year, attracting visitors from all over Idaho and beyond. These festivals not only showcase the town's vibrant culture but also serve as a way to preserve its traditions for future generations.
The Sun Valley Music FestivalOne of the most popular festivals in Bellevue is the Sun Valley Music Festival. Held every summer since 1985, this festival brings together world-renowned musicians for a series of free outdoor concerts. The festival's main stage is located at the Sun Valley Pavilion, an open-air amphitheater with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Aside from the music performances, the Sun Valley Music Festival also has a special tradition that has been passed down through generations.
Every year, on the final night of the festival, attendees are invited to participate in a candlelight ceremony. As the sun sets behind the mountains, the audience lights candles and sings along to the final piece of music, creating a magical and unforgettable experience.
The Trailing of the Sheep FestivalAnother beloved festival in Bellevue is the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. This annual event celebrates the town's rich sheepherding history and pays tribute to the hardworking men and women who have kept this tradition alive for generations. The festival kicks off with a parade of sheep through the streets of Bellevue, followed by a variety of activities such as sheepdog trials, wool spinning demonstrations, and traditional Basque dancing. One of the festival's most cherished traditions is the Sheep Folklife Fair, where visitors can learn about the history and culture of sheepherding through interactive exhibits and demonstrations.
The Bellevue Labor Day CelebrationFor over 100 years, Bellevue has been hosting a Labor Day celebration that brings together the entire community for a day of fun and festivities.
The highlight of this festival is the annual rodeo, which attracts professional cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country. Visitors can also enjoy live music, food vendors, and a variety of family-friendly activities. One of the most unique traditions of this festival is the "Cowboy Church" service held on Sunday morning. This non-denominational service takes place in an open field, with attendees sitting on hay bales and listening to cowboy-themed sermons and music.
The Bellevue Hailey Ketchum Art FestivalArt lovers flock to Bellevue every summer for the annual Hailey Ketchum Art Festival. This three-day event showcases the work of over 100 artists from all over Idaho and beyond.
Visitors can browse through a variety of mediums such as paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and more. Aside from the art, this festival also has a unique tradition that sets it apart from other art festivals. Every year, a local artist is chosen to create a large-scale mural on the side of a building in downtown Bellevue. This not only adds to the town's vibrant art scene but also serves as a way to beautify the community.
The Bellevue Hometown Christmas CelebrationAs the holiday season approaches, Bellevue transforms into a winter wonderland for its annual Hometown Christmas Celebration. This festival is a beloved tradition for many locals, who come together to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and spread joy and cheer throughout the town. The festival features a variety of activities such as a tree lighting ceremony, a holiday parade, and visits from Santa Claus himself.
One of the most cherished traditions of this festival is the "Light Up Bellevue" contest, where residents decorate their homes with festive lights and decorations. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of these beautifully decorated homes and vote for their favorite.