Without much pomp and circumstance, Bellevue has quietly been creating its own legacy of sorts. After ore wagons trace their way through the streets of Ketchum, another lively parade makes its way down the stretch of state Highway 75 that constitutes Bellevue’s downtown. With two full days of music and vendors, the celebration centers around family fun.
This year, with a new Labor Day Celebration chairwoman—Heather Johnston—a new breath of life is being blown into the festivities, with a focus on the future and a concentration on low-key, family-friendly entertainment.
The events will kick off Sunday, with a day of music and food vendors at Memorial Park.
This year’s bands include Two Gun Rig, Jukebox Widowmakers, Coyote Joe Sartin with Brian Dilworth, Bella Soul, the Mitchel Gregory Project, the Hurdy Gurdy Girls, Dewey Picket and Howe, Mia Edsel and Friends and Old Death Whisper.
This year’s food selection will be broader than in previous years, Johnston said. Vendors include The Smokey Bone, The Taco Fix, Sun Valley Snowshave, Taqueria al Pastor, Idaho Funnel Cakes, Miski Chiri serving popsicles, the Sawtooth Brewery, Contreras family serving Mexican food and Purely Popped popcorn.
On Monday morning, Labor Day, locals and guests are invited to join in on the 10th annual 5k run to benefit the Bellevue Fire Department’s Burn Out Fund, which supports local families who have experienced house fires, providing immediate funds for those in need. This year, because it is the 10th anniversary, there will also be a 10k run. Pets are welcome, as are families with strollers or on bikes.
The run begins at 9 a.m. at Bellevue Memorial Park on Fourth and Cedar streets. Because of the 10k, this will be the first year that there will be an aid station on the course. The station will be on the corner of Bayhorse Road and Chestnut Lane. The 5k runners will pass the station once, around the first mile of the course, and the 10k runners will pass the station twice, once around the 2-mile mark and a second time around mile 5.
Resident Sara Burns created the 5k run 10 years ago, after going through the city’s budgetary process on the City Council and seeing that there weren’t sufficient funds to cover all of the city’s needs and each department’s necessities. The registration fees for the race, $25 for the 5k and $35 for the 10k, go to the Burn Out Fund.
Registration online is open until Aug. 30, after which those who want to race can register the day-of at the start line. There are also a limited number of T-shirts for racers, so those who want a shirt should register online by visiting raceentry.com and searching BLDC Fun Run/Walk.
Beyond food vendors, a choo-choo-train ride for kids and live music for everyone to enjoy, the city is also taking the opportunity to talk about important matters affecting its future. A booth, manned by Mayor Ned Burns, city employees and council members, will be set up at Memorial Park to gather citizen input on where the city is going and where it should focus its limited resources.
Councilwoman Tammy Davis, who has been involved on and off with the City Council since the early 2000s, said she thought the idea would be a good opportunity to engage with citizens on a deeper and more casual level than at council meetings.
“This is about gathering more community input,” she said. “Hopefully, we will be creating a more transparent means of communication.”
The booth will also have information on upgrades completed by the city, as well as information on a new water-metering system that will begin next year. Residents will also be able to register to vote, if they have not done so already. A series of public meetings, town halls and a possible online survey will follow the Labor Day Celebration booth, all in the hope of making the city’s future brighter, and more in line with what community members want.
“We’ve got a great community, a great city, but could it be better? It could always be better,” Davis said.