Eastern Idaho State Fair announces theme, mascot and entertainment lineup

By Sarah Glenn

BLACKFOOT –– The 2015 theme for the Eastern Idaho State Fair (Sept. 5-12) is “Find Your Happy” – and they mean literally.

A furry, red ball of joy named “Happy” is the fair’s new official mascot who will wander the fair aiming to spread a little joy wherever he goes. For the next several years, the fair’s theme will be built around the idea of finding happiness in all its forms.

“We are really excited about bringing Happy to the fair,” said Brandon Bird, General Manager of the Eastern Idaho State Fair. “We look forward to using him in just about everything.”

A few other changes to the fair this year include a mix up in entertainment. For the first ever, a Comedy Central comedian will headline the Thursday Sept. 10 show. Gabriel Iglesias, also known as Fluffy for his jokes about his weight, will take the stage to entertain a crowd of 7,500. For this particular show, the fair is offering folding chairs to people who purchase floor tickets on the track.

“But it’s only for that event,” Bird said.

When Cheap Trick takes the stage on Sept. 11, the track will be standing (or dancing) room only.

Classic 1970’s songs such as “I Want You to Want Me,” “Surrender,” and “The Flame” will fill the fair grounds as the rockers entertain Eastern Idaho’s thousands.

Because the two shows are so different, a combination pass won’t be available this year. However, some select tickets to the individual shows will be available for $29 starting Friday on the fair’s website. The early bird discount runs through the end of June. All grandstand tickets go on sale to the public on Friday with four options for seats.

Returning events this year will also include the Monster Energy FreestyleMX.com Worldwide Tour, the RMP Year-end Shootout Tractor Pull, the September Slam Demolition Derby and the Gem State Classic Pro Rodeo.

One aspect of the fair that isn’t expecting any change is the parking. According to Bird, the fair has consistently attracted an average of 225,000 people every year for the past four years. Parking for that many people has always been an issue. However, Bird hopes that a little-known parking lot on the north side of the fairgrounds and a little more use of the tram system will make getting to the fair a happy experience.

Two trams run daily from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m., shuttling people to parking as far away as West Judicial Street and South Ash Avenue almost a mile away from the entrance.

While daily schedules are still in a state of flux, the most up to date information on the Eastern Idaho State Fair is being released on its Facebook Page, according to event organizers.

For more information about the 2015 fair, visit http://www.funatthefair.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/funatthefair.

The fair will be Sept. 5-12 and hours are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily.

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