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A Summertime Tradition Continues!

Celebrate community at this year’s Kootenai River Days

By Jillian Chandler | Photo Courtesy of Jessica Kimble, Bonners Ferry Chamber

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Summer is in full swing, and the always anticipated Kootenai River Days is back for 2023 Wednesday through Saturday, July 19 through 22, ready to welcome the community for four days of fun!


The excitement kicks off July 19 with Movie in the Park. Bring the kids to the Library Park that evening (at dusk) for the movie “The Goonies.” Grocery Outlet will be providing a snack table at the movie. And yes, it’s all free!


Presented by the Rotary Club of Bonners Ferry, Thursday, July 20, is the Grapes & Barley Walk, a tasting experience that happens just once a year! The fun begins at 5:30pm at Riverside Auto Center. Tickets are $40 before July 14 and increase to $50 afterward. Tickets can be purchased at Under the Sun, Riverside Auto Center, Mountain West Bank and Century 21 Four Seasons Realty.


Friday is a day of family fun, from the Dunk Tank (sponsored by Rocket Mortgage) to Jail Break (courtesy of the Bonners Ferry Herald) at Georgia Mae Plaza. DJ Northwest Soundman will be playing the tunes, and Main Street will be closed off for the always enjoyable Street Dance. Crazy Days, held both Friday and Saturday, welcomes you to a store-wide sidewalk sale unlike any other and is the perfect way to meet and visit with local business owners.


Pull out your running shoes and register today to take part in the 2023 Kootenai River Run, happening Saturday morning. This 5k/10k run brings racers in and around the city of Bonners Ferry, with the course starting and finishing at the fairgrounds. Cost is $25 with T-shirt, $15 without, and net proceeds will go to provide deserving local runners with college scholarships. To register, visit KootenaiRiverRun.com.


Saturday also brings the return of Birdies for Our Brothers golf tourney at Mirror Lake Golf Course, where teams will tee off at 9am. The cost per team is $300, and food/alcohol is available for purchase through the golf course. This tournament raises money for the Rob Gust/CJ Erickson School Scholarship. This year, due to a record number of deserving applicants, they will be awarding three (two in years past) $1,000 scholarships to Bonners Ferry High School seniors to be used for college or vocational schools.


Maybe you prefer a friendly Corn Hole Tournament (thanks to Fry Healthcare Foundation). Check in is at 9am, with tournament beginning at 10. The cost per two-man team is $40; register at BoundaryCommunityHospital.org/foundation/cornhole.

After your run, play some golf or corn hole, it’s time to get shopping again at Crazy Days and the much-anticipated Street Fair. There will be a bounce house and face painting for the kids 10am to 2pm, DJ Northwest Soundman as well as live music by Jam Shack. Come 6pm, get ready for some live action entertainment with Kootenai River Days 4D Barrel Racing at the Boundary County Fairgrounds Arena; $2 suggested donation per person who attends.


Throughout the duration of Kootenai River Days, Tea Scarlett will be sponsoring Chalk the Block, where those young and old are invited to grab some chalk and decorate the streets.


A shout out to platinum sponsors Auburn Crest Hospice, Riverside Auto Center, Medicine Man Pharmacy and many many more who make this event happen. “We really appreciate donations from local businesses to keep this a free event to the community,” shares Jennifer van Etten, organizer.


Did you know that camping is free at the fairgrounds during the four-day event? So, make it a family affair, set up camp, and enjoy each day of the event with ease. For more information about this year's Kootenai River Days, reach out to the Bonners Ferry Chamber at info@bonnersferrychamber.org, visit BonnersFerryChamber.org or follow the chamber at Facebook.com/9bchamber.


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