Friday, February 15, 2008

Celebrate George and Honest Abe

Presidents? weekend street party set in Ketchum

Express Staff Writer

Fourth Street has become a center of lively gatherings since its renovation was completed last summer.

Ketchum, like many other ski resorts, has long had the reputation of being a party town. Unlike other ski towns, Ketchum remains isolated by geography, and as such is particularly intimate. So, when a party is thrown like the street party planned for Saturday, Feb. 16, to celebrate Presidents' Day on the Fourth Street Heritage Corridor, it's reason enough to come out and see old friends.

Planned by the Ketchum Event Planning Committee, the Presidents' Weekend Party "is the outcropping of the group that produced 2007's Halloween street party," Wood River Economic Partnership member John Sofro said.

The group consists primarily of Sofro, Ketchum-Sun Valley Chamber Member & Visitor Services Director Stefanie Mahoney, Chamber Marketing Director Nicole Beahm, city of Ketchum spokesperson Kim Rogers, manager of Dirty Little Roddy's saloon Cody Proctor, and Whiskey Jacques' manager Matt Stacey.

"The whole purpose is to create some vitality in the business core and make our community as much fun as it could be," Sofro said.

The event is sponsored by Amerititle, First Bank of Idaho, Atkinsons', city of Ketchum and the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency, Sun Valley Auto Club, Jane's , PK's, Windermere, the Elephant's Perch, Coldwell Banker Conklin & Co., Bob Cantor, Ketchum Flower Co., Barry Peterson Jewelers, Parker Gulch LLC, Bank of America and the Sun Valley Garden Center. Many other businesses are doing in-kind donations.

The event will begin at 3 p.m. with music by the folk-rockin' Damphools, and a demonstration by ice sculptor Danny Spangler from "Ice is Nice," in Star, Idaho.

At 5 p.m., Cheryl Mae Grace will play her brand of gypsy music, and at 6 p.m. the ever-popular Kim Stocking Band will take the stage.

An inflatable "bouncy house" will be set up for kid fun all afternoon.

The only thing that will cost a penny will be victuals and beverages provided by Ric Lum's Buffalo Bites, Grumpy's, Smoky Mountain Pizza and Dirty Little Roddy's.

Like the Kick Ash Bash celebration last year, the streets will be alive with the sound of music and merrymaking until at least 9 p.m.

The Ketchum Event Planning Committee (and who wouldn't want to belong to a group with that name) is also in the process of planing several more events.

On May 17, there will be a return of one of Ketchum's signature events, the Ketchum Wide Open, held throughout city. The final "hole"—supplied by the Sun Valley Garden Center—will be smack in the middle of a closed-off Main Street.

A Summer Solstice Party will be held on June 21 with beach volleyball on Main Street, and on July Fourth, Reckless Kelly will play a free concert. And, of course, there is Halloween party, which will be even bigger than last year.

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