Jennifer and Jim went to rival high schools. She was the head of the cheerleading squad, and valedictorian of her class, with a plan to attend college after graduation. Jim was working at a gas station the summer after high school, and thinking about what line of work to pursue as an adult.
Jim was working one day when Jennifer and her friend decided to head to the beach. On the way home, her friend’s car broke down. When they pulled into a gas station for help, Jim was there to greet them—and to ask Jennifer for her number.
“All of the guys working there asked me for my number. I gave everyone the wrong one—except for Jim.”
Jim called to ask her out on a date to the LA County Fair.
They spent the whole day and night together at the Fair—riding the rides, looking at the exhibits, eating corndogs, walking, and talking. At the end of the night, Jim took her home—and they shared a magical kiss.
Even though there was a serious connection, Jennifer had enrolled in college far from home, and was supposed to marry someone else. But she couldn’t forget about that enchanted night at the fair.
So she decided to leave school and move in with the man she loved. And since then, Jennifer and Jim have spent every anniversary at the event that made it all possible—their local fair.
“We moved to Idaho in the 90s, and have been going to the Western Idaho Fair every year since then,” Jennifer gushes. “We love the rollercoasters, and the food, and going through the exhibits. It’s just a perfect way to spend a day with the man I’m still in love with.”
In 2017, Jim and Jennifer will be celebrating 30 years of marriage. And though they’ve been through tough times, they’re just as in love as that day at the fair that started it all.
While most of us were learning to use a pencil, Kylene Collette’s parents were entering her drawings to a state fair in her native South Africa. Her first entry was a drawing of a cow—and she placed second.
From there, Kylene progressed to other animals and objects, eventually pursuing a full-time career as an artist, illustrator, and designer. Now the recent immigrant and campus interior designer at Boise State is competing for the second year in a row at the Western Idaho Fair.
“I was illustrating a book for a woman I met through Craigslist,” she recalls. “I had recently picked my oil painting back up, and she told me that I should submit it to the Fair. So I did.”
She was immediately impressed by the caliber of the work on display, as well as the great attendance and enthusiasm.
“I love all the arts exhibits—I love seeing other people succeed, and watching people who may not be artists by trade step out of their comfort zones to put their work on display. That takes a lot of guts.”
And for someone who’s new to the area, she really loves all the support she’s received from the arts community and the region overall.
“I can't say enough about how much I love Boise! There is just such a spirit of positivity and community. People here seem to really embrace life and live every day to the fullest!”
Come live your life to the fullest at this year’s Fair, August 19-28. And when you do, make sure to stop by and say hi to Kylene—and all of the artists on display at the Exhibitor Hall.
Our second out of 5 ways to enjoy the Western Idaho Fair is everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure, and possibly the experience that makes the Fair Famous: food. From elephant ears to corn dogs, swirly fries to the ice cream potato, the Fair is the perfect spot to indulge a little in the fried goodness you’ve been craving all summer.
Take a walk with us down food alley to see some of what the Fair has to offer—and then plan your Fair meals accordingly!