Hailey In the News

Political Button collection at Blaine County Museum Photo: Carol Waller


By | Hailey In the News

Hailey is a very special place and there is quite a bit about this small town in Idaho that you may not know. Here’s a short list:

Historic Hailey Photo: Carol Waller1. A Pioneer History: From prehistoric times until well into the 20th century the Wood River Valley was visited in the warm weather months by Native Americans. Fur trappers came into the area in 1824, followed by miners and settlers beginning in 1865. Miner John Hailey founded his namesake city in 1879 and laid out the quintessence of a 19th century town. In the residential part, the wide tree-lined streets provide an open inviting avenue for course and discourse. The long narrow lots march back to alleys – an added living space, and homes were set back 25 feet from the street. Today Hailey thrives as a community with a mix of tourism, business, arts and recreation.


Dolly the sheep loves kids Photo: Carol Waller2. Small Town Values: This is a community of 8,000 whose residents all share the small town values of caring, respect, family and neighborliness with each other and with the hundreds of thousands of out of town guests who come to visit the Sun Valley area each year. It is a “village” made up a diverse mix of people, from families who have lived here for generations, to transplants from across the country who moved here to enjoy the small town atmosphere and big city amenities like great dining and a vibrant arts scene.


Basque Dancers at Trailing of the Sheep Festival Folklife Fair Photo: Carol Waller3. Unique Events: Each year Hailey hosts acclaimed events that draw in thousands of visitors such as The Trailing of the Sheep Festival (noted by USA Today as one of the Top Ten Animal Festivals in the world), the Northern Rockies Music Festival, Crosstoberfest Bike Race & Beerfest, the Sun Valley Film Festival, the Wood River Studio Tour and a very special 4th of July Celebration & Rodeo, complete with a parade featuring lots of horses, creative floats, and a spectacular fireworks extravaganza.  A variety of other local sporting and cultural events take place throughout the year as well.


Wood River Biking Trails Photo: Hailey Chamber4. Tops in Outdoor Recreation: Just minutes from town are miles of scenic mountain trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding in summer,  Nordic and alpine skiing, snowshoeing in the winter, and the crystal clear Big Wood River, which flows right through Hailey, provides great fishing, kayaking and floating. Hailey is also home to one of the country’s top skateboard parks, and the Blaine County Recreation Center.



rocky_mountain_hardware_from-Web-650xY5. Headquarters for Business: Several top international and national companies are headquartered in Hailey including Power Engineers, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Orflo Technologies and Marketron.



BC Museum button collection Credit Carol Waller6. Political Campaign Button Collection: The Blaine County Historical Museum holds one of the country’s largest collections of political campaign buttons and memorabilia, reportedly only second in size to the one at the Smithsonian. Joe Fuld, born in Placerville, Idaho, in 1878, was a prominent Hailey businessman and the first president of the American Political Items Collectors Association. The display contains well over 5,000 items, some of which date back to the early 1820s.


ezra pound7. Birthplace of Poet Ezra Pound: The Blaine County Museum also contains a wall of photos, reproduced newspaper articles, and a collection of pertinent books reminds readers that the important and controversial poet Ezra Pound was born here in 1885 in a house just a few blocks from the museum. The house, extensively restored by the Ezra Pound Association, is now the Hailey headquarters of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.


cof liberty theatre at night8. Broadway in the Rockies: Actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore restored the Liberty Theater in downtown Hailey in 2002 to its former art deco glory, and it has since been home to the professional theatre group, Company of Fools, who produce top-notch theatre productions and special events throughout the year as part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.



5B Bikeshare9. Leader in Green:  The City of Hailey has made a strong commitment to sustainability and recently completed a three year Community Climate Challenge with support from the EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities Program.  New projects included 5B Bikeshare, construction recycling program, Just Bag It!, renewable energy rebates, LED streetlight retrofit, LEED Silver Certification of Hailey’s new Welcome Center, and building deconstruction and material salvage.  Hailey is also home to the Wood River Sustainability Center and the popular summer & fall Wood River Farmer’s Market.


Historic Blaine County Courthouse10. Blaine County Seat: Hailey is the seat of Blaine County, which includes the resort cities of Sun Valley, Ketchum to the north and the more rural cities of Bellevue, Gannett and Carey to the south.

Basque Dancers at Trailing of the Sheep Festival Folklife Fair Photo: Carol Waller


By | Hailey In the News

Hailey, Idaho is a small town (pop. 8,000) in the Central Idaho Rockies that is proud to host a number of big events that attract visitors from around the county and the world.  Below is a list of the major ones…



Hailey, Idaho is celebrating Arbor Day bigger and better than ever! This year’s event on May 9th is the 4th annual ArborFest celebrating “Community, Art, Earth & Trees”. Activities include free tree seedlings, a visit from Smokey Bear, a bouncy forest, local art displays, musical performances and ArborFest MudRun!


ID State Champ Fiddle Contest - GraceChristensen performer. Credit Dennis Koyle   thumb_fiddlersPhotos:  Idaho Fiddlers

The best fiddlers and musicians of all ages in the state gather  for this foot-stoppin’, upbeat competition held at the beautiful Performing Arts Theater in Hailey.


Hailey Skatepark Competition. Credit VisitIdaho  Hailey Skatepark Compeition. Credit Hallmark Properties  Photos:  Visit ID, Hallmark Properties

The world-class Hailey Skate Park hosts an important stop of the Wild West Skateboard Contest Series. This national series features Jam format contests, gear and cash prizes, a massive raffle, DJs, music and artists, and lots of high energy. In order to be eligible for the Overall WWSC Series Title, competitors must compete in at least 4 of the 6 competitions.


Sheeptown Drag race. Credit Mountain Sports International   Sheeptown Drag Race in Hailey during Ride Sun Valley. Credit Daniel Dunn Photo  Photos: Mountain Sports International, Daniel Dunn Photo

Is this crazy or what?  The annual Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival ignites with the SheepTown Drag Race in Hailey, a comedic battle challenging the brave to race with flaming logs chained behind their bikes. Open to the public, participants gather at twilight outside the Powerhouse Bike Shop and Pub to sign up for a limited number of spots.  Yep, it’s, ‘flame on’.

4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION: Hailey Days of the Old West

Hailey 4th of July Parade Photo: Carol Waller    Uncle Sam Hailey 4th of July Parade Photo: Carol Waller  Photos:  Carol Waller

Hailey, Idaho offers up perhaps the most quintessential hometown 4th of July celebration in the west. Each year Hailey Days of the Old West, July 2-5,  plays host to the exciting Sawtooth Rangers Rodeo, a fun & unique parade on Main Street with colorful entries and plenty of horses, a shoot-out melodrama, a spectacular fireworks display, pancake breakfasts, lots of live music, antique markets and the new Draper Preserve River Festival. There is plenty to do and authentic entertainment for all ages.  Renowned humorist Dave Barry even profiled Hailey’s 4th of July parade on his national blog in 2012.


     Rodeo- Mutton busting. Credit Casey Megehee     Rodeo Steer Wrestling. Credit Casey McGee

Rodeo is a proud tradition in the West and in Hailey, the Sawtooth Rangers have held an exciting professional rodeo, featuring some of the best riders and stock in the country, over the 4th of July weekend every year since 1947. In 2011 the City of Hailey invested over $3 million to build a new state-of-the-art rodeo arena and grounds at the entrance to the city to play host to the Sawtooth Rangers Rodeo as well as other events throughout the year, including the Idaho 5th District High School Rodeos and Gran Jaripeo (Mexican bull riding) events.

HAILEY ANTIQUE FAIR  (4th of July weekend, Labor Day weekend)

Hailey 4th of July Antique Fair Photo: Carol Waller  Antique Fair scene. Hailey ID July4 Credit CarolWaller  Hailey ID Antique Fair 1 creditCWaller  Photos: Carol Waller

Nothing is more fun than browsing for unique treasures at a well-curated antique show, and the Hailey Antique Fairs have some of the best antique vendors and wares in the region.  You will be sure to find that perfect one-of-a-kind something!


Riverfest floaters girls flags river. Credit Carol Waller  Photo: Carol Waller

After the City of Hailey’s July 4th parade, continue your Independence Day celebration with a stroll down to the Draper Wood River Preserve for some sun and family fun! The Draper Preserve RiverFEST has food, music, river activities, face-painting, educational nature programs and more. So, bring your friends and family down to the Preserve right after the parade.


wood river studio tour photo; wrstudiotour   studio interior photo wrvstudiotour   Photos: Wood River Studio Tour

The event showcases more than 50 of the best visual artists working in the Wood River Valley via tours of their studios, including many Hailey artists. By showcasing the creative community within the Wood River Valley, the tour aims to inspire visitors to travel to the valley to experience first-hand the quality of locally produced art in this vibrant community, and the beauty of the valley’s natural environment. Art lovers, collectors, and those interested in learning more about art venture out on self-guided tours to see as many Studio Tour artists and their artworks as possible. The free event connects collectors with artists for engaging dialogue and an intimate glimpse into the life of the working artist. A public reception with the artist’s is also part of the weekend’s events.


The Kiwanis Club of Hailey and the Wood River Valley hosts its’ annual Car Show at Roberta McKercher Park the first Saturday in August.  There will be car entrants of antique, sport, modified, collectors and one of a kind. This is a family event fun for all ages. The event is free and all the car entry fees will go to the Kiwanis Club to support children’s events in the Wood River Valley.


Trailing of the Sheep Parade Photo: Carol Waller Basque Dancers at Trailing of the Sheep Festival Folklife Fair Photo: Carol Waller Lamb sliders Photo: Carol Waller  Dolly the sheep loves kids Photo: Carol Waller  Photos:  Carol Waller

For an authentic, inexpensive cultural heritage travel experience, check out the annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival, held each mid-October in the Wood River Valley of Idaho. Every year the popular Trailing of the Sheep Festival celebrates the 150+ year tradition of moving sheep from mountain summer pastures south through the valley to traditional winter grazing and lambing areas. This annual migration is Idaho living history and a weekend long festival that highlights the people, arts, cultures, and traditions of sheep ranching in Idaho and the west. This is not a reenactment, but a real slice of the American west. This unique cultural heritage Festival, rated as one of the Top Ten Fall Festivals in the World by, has international appeal, drawing thousands each year.


Crosstoberfest2012LRG-4583  Crosstoberfest racers Photo: Crosstoberfest    Crosstoberfest2012LRG-6942  2012032914-37-38lagunitas_ipa_3   Photos:  Crosstoberfest

Crosstoberfest happens each October in Hailey and is a festival designed to promote the cyclocross revolution and showcase brewers and hand-crafted beer and microbreweries from the United States and Europe. The focus of Crosstoberfest remains cyclocross racing combined with the promotion of craft beers and the brewers that create them, topped off with great live music and wacky fun. The Beer! Up to 30 different breweries from around the world and across the country will showcase their unique libations. The Bikes! Cyclocross (sometimes cyclo-cross, CX, CCX, cyclo-X or ‘cross’) is a form of bicycle racing that consist of many laps of a short course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount and carry the bike while navigating the obstruction, then remount. Course length ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 km (1.5 to 2 miles).  The sport is strongest in the traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium (and Flanders in particular), France and the Netherlands. It is a perfect match for a handcrafted brew tasting festival!


turkeytrot 1. Credit Hank Dart/Turkey Trot   turkeytrot 2. Credit Hank Dart/Turkey Trot   turkeytrot 3. Credit Hank Dar/ Turkey Trot  Photos: Hank Dart/Turkey Trot

Held on the morning of Thanksgiving each year, this great community event brings out over 650 participants  to run, walk & stroll the beautiful 5K course through the Draper Preserve in Hailey.   It’s very popular so make sure to register in advance to save your spot!


svnf_ad   SV nordic festival BMT  Photos:  SV Nordic Festival

Nordic enthusiasts won’t want to miss the fun and excitement of the annual Sun Valley Nordic Festival , designed to showcase and celebrate Sun Valley’s well-deserved reputation as “Nordic Town USA”.  This world-class event features over a week of activities, races, clinics and fun events, along with discounts on nordic passes, demos/rentals, lodging and dining.  The event starts with “Ski The Rails”, which ends with a party in Hailey.


Ski joring race cowboy rider. Credit Carol Waller  Photo: Carol Waller

Fast horses and brave skiers combine for an action-packed weekend of skijoring excitement in Hailey. Come join the fun at the Wood River Extreme Skijoring Association’s annual races at Quigley Ranch in Hailey on President’s Day weekend. This family-friendly weekend event will also feature food booths, music, and more. Great spectator sport!


SV Film Festival image Photo: SVFF  SV Film Festival Liberty Theatre Photo: SVFF  SV Film Festival Directors Chair Photo: SVFF  SV Film Festival Awards Photo: SVFF
Photo credits:  Sun Valley Film Festival

Hailey is proud to a integral part of the annual Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF), with film screenings throughout the weekend at its beautifully restored Liberty Theatre.   The SVFF, recognized by USA Today as one of the “Great Places for a Film Festival,” rolls out the red carpet for filmmakers and movie lovers each March to celebrate the art of filmmaking and provide another great reason to visit Hollywood’s original ski Shangri-La.  SVFF began in 2011 and  has quickly become a filmmaker’s festival in a place steeped in cinematic history, with a proven knack for drawing industry heavyweights and independent talents to an intimate locale far from the Hollywood scene. The combination of cutting-edge programming and bona-fide insider access in a fun, relaxed atmosphere has made SVFF a rising star in the world of destination festivals.  Each year SVFF screens more than 60-curated films followed by filmmakers Q&A sessions, as well as its popular free Coffee Talks with industry insiders, Screenwriters Lab and much more. Great parties, dinners, special events, and sunny spring skiing top off this spirited and inspired festival weekend in Sun Valley.


The Chamber of Wood River Valley:
tel 208-788-3484  |781 S. Main | Hailey, Idaho, 83333


Hailey Voted as Best City to Live In

By | Hailey In the News


September 2014.  Another nice honor by locals who know.  “It should come as no surprise that the city of Hailey was voted “Best City to Live In” by the readers of Sun Valley Guide magazine in the 2014 Best of the Valley reader poll.  Family-friendly Hailey has decidedly rural roots and combines a thoughtful preservation of its old west history with a youthful energy and vibrant music, culture and recreation scenes.”  Read the full article here.

Sun Valley, Hailey are Hotbed of Fall Festivals

By | Hailey In the News

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November 2014.  “The Sun Valley area of Idaho is beautiful in the fall. With the leaves turning and perfect temperatures, it’s a great time for a getaway to this destination. As if the fall beauty wasn’t enough to warrant a visit, the towns of Ketchum and Hailey also hold a festival every October that lets visitors eat unique dishes prepared by top chefs for free, learn about the history and culture of the area, watch champions perform at the top of their game and witness an event they will probably never see the likes of anywhere else.

In an area that has become an international travel destination, the Trailing of the Sheep Festival ( was created to commemorate the history of sheepherding and the major role it once played in the economy of the area. It has developed into five days full of dining, festivals, events and a unique parade offering something for every type of traveler. Here are some of the highlights….” Read full article here.

This media coverage was a result of Hailey Chamber support for the 2014 Trailing of the Sheep Festival press trip organized by CW Communications. 

Seven Wild & Wacky Festivals Worldwide

By | Hailey In the News

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October 24, 2014.   Held in Idaho, the Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival observes the animals’ annual migration to the southern part of the state. Attractions include the sheep parade where 1,500 wholly critters march down the main street of Ketchum, the Championship Sheepdog Trials, and a Folklife Fair with music and dancing from sheep-loving countries like Poland, the Basque region and Peru.  See full article HERE

Trailing of the Sheep Festival – One of America’s Wierdest Fall Festivals

By | Hailey In the News


September 2014.    Trailing of the Sheep Festival (Ketchum and Hailey, Idaho)
In the past century, humans have often been outnumbered by sheep in Idaho. This festival (about three hours east of Boise) observes the critters’ annual migration to the southern part of the state. The big event is Sunday’s sheep parade, where you can follow 1,500 sheep down Ketchum’s Main Street; on other days you can watch the Championship Sheepdog Trials, dig in to lamb barbecue, and hear music from sheep-loving areas such as Peru, Poland and the Basque region. Kids can learn about soap-making and wool-spinning, or create Christmas crafts. Admission to events varies: tickets to the sheepdog trials, for instance, are $2 per person (free for kids 5 and under) and the parade is free; October 9-12.   Read full article here

This national media coverage was secured by the Hailey Chamber in partnership with CW Communications.

Festival Celebrates Bringing In Sheep for the Winter

By | Hailey In the News

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September 2014.  “A wall of wool will “baa” its way through Ketchum, Idaho, next month as a decades-old tradition–the moving of sheep to their winter lambing and grazing grounds–returns. The autumn event has been a way of life for more than 150 years, but in more recent times, it’s also been a cause for celebration in the Sun Valley area. The 18th annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival will be Oct. 9-12.”  Read full article here

The Trailing of the Sheep Festival

By | Hailey In the News

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July 2014.  “In Idaho’s Wood River Valley, sheep ranching began in the 1860s, eventually growing into the second largest sheep center in the world. After its peak in the 1930s, Basque sheepherders continued to trail sheep into high summer meadows and back through the valley on the way to winter pasture. These days, Peruvians carry on the tradition, and, each fall, the history, heritage and culture of sheep herding are celebrated at the Trailing of the Sheep Festival.”  Read full article here

This national media coverage was a result of Hailey Chamber’s support of a 2013 media press trip organized by CW Communications.