The town I was in was approximately 3,000 people – a large town by Idaho standards. And over the 4th, they’d have all kinds of events, a fair, a rodeo, etc. And the town would get packed – it would grow about an order of magnitude and suddenly have between 30 and 40,000 people. And the festivities were like a 3 day ho-down. It being Idaho, most people would wake up and drink – and drink a lot. The bars were really open starting early in the day (before noon) and would close at 2am.
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In Idaho, the 4th of July is a really big deal. I mean, I understand that in America, the 4th of July is a really big deal everywhere, but I’ve been to a lot of 4th of July parties and celebrations in a lot of different states and I can say without a doubt that Idaho really goes crazy over the 4th.
This made for one of my favorite weekends there too. I’m no cowboy, but any group of crazy assholes that’s willing to drink for 15 or more hours straight, well, they’re alright with me. The thing about living in a small town that becomes a pretty big city for 3 days is that almost everyone in the small town has to pitch in to keep things running smoothly.
Now, another thing about outsiders, the locals don’t much care for you until they need your assistance, then it’s all smiles from the bank teller or the lady at the bakery. Those are just two of the three places I frequented. The other was the bar. And over the 4th of July, the bars would get slammed. Amazingly, the locals were such heavy drinkers that this town of 3,000 had 5 bars. And they weren’t all huge, but even the small ones would open their parking lots up over the 4th so they could accommodate that many people.