The Ford Idaho Center
Possibly the most renowned event complex in Idaho, hosting over 100 events annually, is the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa. Sitting atop a grass-covered rise that overlooks the Treasure Valley, it has earned its place as a staple of the Nampa region and as a distinguished establishment that serves as a stage for world famous entertainers.
The outside amphitheater, capable of packing in over 10,000 people, has dominated the outdoor Idaho concert experience. Since it's first concert in 1998, featuring Shania Twain, the Ford Idaho Center amphitheater has reputedly kept the summer concert experience alive with top name performers like Tim McGraw, Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson, James Taylor, Meghan Trainor, and annually recurring music festivals, like the Jacksons Country Stomp - which takes place every June 15 featuring a broad lineup of the best in country music. Beverly Harrigfeld, a first-time attendee at the 2017 Jackson Country Stomp said, "The concert was great, but the amphitheater really made my experience. I can stand toward the front of the stage jumping and singing with everyone, or I can walk a small distance along the hillside and lounge in the grass to watch the band from a distance and enjoy my drink. It was a perfect balance." Summer amphitheater concerts go from June to September every year.
The inside arena, as it too throws a spectacle for audiences seeing live bands, is also home to one of the world's finest rodeo events. The Snake River Stampede is one of the top 10 regular professional rodeos out of the approximately 800 rodeos in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Fans travel from far and wide to witness athletes compete for the top spot in what is considered one of the most significant rodeo competitions. The bronco riders aren't the only reason the Snake River Stampede is celebrated among rodeo fans. There are regular comedy skits with rodeo clowns, the rodeo queen competition and youth involved activities, like the calf scramble and mutton busting. The Snake River Stampede Rodeo is an annual week long event that occurs on the third week of July.
Once the dust from the rodeo has settled, the stadium is vacant and the stands are pushed back, the arena floor hosts a series of trade shows like gun shows, RV shows, boat shows and many more. Food and craft vendors set up tents during these events for shoppers. The Ford Idaho Center also converts into a monster truck rally for a few days and later a basketball stadium where the boys and girls high school basketball teams meet for tournaments.
A small distance behind the main arena, is one of the most prestigious horse parks in the Northwest. With over 110 acres and the ability to house 850 horses, folks come from all over the country to make the Ford Idaho Horse Park the home for their horse show. The Ford Idaho Horse Park has hosted thousands of horses in events such as: Team Roping, local 4H, Regional Arabian Horses, Quarter Horse Association, Mounted Shooting, Dressage and many others. For those that are interested can easily reserve their spot online at the Ford Idaho Center website.
The Ford Idaho Center is undoubtedly the most well known multi-event complex throughout Idaho. Whether it’s a concert, an annual trade show, the rodeos, or just the cinnamon roasted almonds, there is something for everyone at the Ford Idaho Center year-round.