Summer in Meridian is already off to a great start: The weather is perfect, beloved annual events are back, and every weekend beckons with family-friendly fun. Are you ready to add good times to your schedule? Use this quick guide and discover how Meridian can make it happen.
Go Old School at Dairy Days
Meridian might be one of the fastest-growing cities in Idaho, but it stays true to its farm roots with its annual Dairy Days festival. Since 1929, when Dairy Days was founded to celebrate the opening of the Meridian Creamery, this event has supported the Future Farmers of America and 4-H organizations.
Expect plenty of old-fashioned fun – a carnival with tons of rides and games, a parade, farm animal shows, fair food (hello, funnel cakes!), and the annual Dairy Princess pageant. All you need to enjoy this three-day extravaganza is a hefty dose of sunscreen and enough cash to eat Pronto Pups and ride the Ferris wheel to your heart’s content.
Dates: June 22-25
More information: dairydays.org
Stock Up at the Meridian Main Street Market
Nearly every town in the Treasure Valley has a farmer’s market, but Meridian’s has a twist: You’ll see kids selling their wares and fresh products, too. The market started as a way for young people to broaden their entrepreneurial skills, but has now expanded to local businesses, vendors, artists, and craftspeople who are beyond their school years.
Expect plenty of farmer’s market staples such as fresh fruit and veggies, along with a whole range of concoctions and crafts – vendors include candy makers, purveyors of hand-blended spices, candlemakers, cake sellers, and coffee roasters. You’ll want to come hungry to take advantage of the on-site food trucks, too.
Dates: Now through October 15
More information: meridianmainstreetmarket.com
Celebrate a Local Hero
You don’t have to know Gene Kleiner’s name to benefit from his generosity. Many decades ago, Julius Kleiner – Gene’s dad – farmed a 60-acre parcel of land in Meridian. Julius Kleiner passed away 50 years ago, but his son ensured his name would never be forgotten by donating the land and $25 million to create Kleiner Park. The park, which opened 10 years ago, is now one of the prettiest and most popular in the area, with a band shell, walking paths, fishing ponds – even a community garden.
Gene Kleiner Day marks the Kleiner family’s generosity toward the city. This year, Gene Kleiner Day will be even bigger and better than usual: The Meridian Symphony will give a free concert in the bandshell to mark the occasion; just pack a blanket or chair to secure your spot.
Date: 7 p.m. June 11
More information: meridiancityspecialevents.org/gene-kleiner-day.html
The Fast and the Fireworks
The Meridian Speedway and the City of Meridian are teaming up for an Independence weekend filled with non-stop thrills. First, head to the Speedway on July 2 for the Geico Local Office Motorfest, a racing-meets-auto industry event featuring a 100-foot drag strip and a special appearance by Bill Carlton from the TV show “Texas Metal.” All ages are welcome at this auto extravaganza.
Pace yourself, though, because the fun continues on July 4 at the Speedway with the Stinker Sinclair Firecracker 50, a series of breakneck races that will leave you hoarse from cheering. Then head to nearby Storey Park to continue the all-American celebration! There, you’ll dance to the Billy Blues Band and nosh on food from the Rusty Dog, Tacos Y Tartas El Paco, and Daisy’s Gelati & Frozen Custard. When the sun goes down, the skies will light up with fireworks launched from the Speedway.
- Geico Local Office Motorfest, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 2, Meridian Speedway
- Stinker Sinclair Firecracker 50, 4:45 p.m. July 4, Meridian Speedway
- 4th of July Celebration, 4 p.m. July 4, Storey Park; fireworks to begin around 10:20 p.m.
For even more Meridian fun, check out the Events tab of our website.
While You’re Here …
The next few weeks will be filled with plenty of good times, but don’t keep the fun to just scheduled events! Here are a few ways to round out your Meridian summer adventures.
- The Village is a one-stop shop for dining, shopping, and entertainment – it’s not unusual to find you’ve spent the whole day there! From the on-site movie theater to dinner outside by the fountain, you’ll find plenty of ways to take leisure time to the next level.
- When the temps heat up, Roaring Springs is ready. The Northwest’s largest water park has endless slides and wave pools to keep the kids happy (not to mention cabana rentals where Mom and Dad can take a quick nap).
- Both kids and adults will find something to love at Big Al’s. How could they not? With a wall of TVs broadcasting sports, a bowling alley, an arcade, and a full menu of food and adult beverages, Big Al’s is the perfect addition to a laid-back weekend.