ELK CITY – The historic Elk City Days celebration in Idaho County will continue this year amid COVID-19 guidelines. Festivities are planned this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 7-8. Whether you want to watch the parade or compete in the logging show, organizers say there is sure to be fun for everyone in store.
“Everything is fun, we are just a small town and any participants are welcome,” said volunteer Sue Phillips. She is part of the Elk City Days Planning Committee, along with Greg Coon, Bruce Gabari and another 20 Elk City residents.
Lots of activities are planned, including a logging show and competition, dunk tank, music, arts and crafts, quilt raffle, yard sales and food booths.
“It’s good for the community to come together, and it helps to bring people here in the first part of August,” said Phillips. “This year’s theme is “All In This Township Together.” Phillips continued, “Elk City is a township and a school surrounded by national forests, and we went with this theme really playing off of the ‘ship’ in township.”
Celebrations like this are important for small towns, she said. “Little towns like us stick together and help each other.”
The grand marshals for 2020 will be Jessica Montgomery, Damian Hagaman and Cheryl Sims.
“Through their work, these people are all huge supporters and promoters of the community,” and Phillips laughed, “This year we didn’t let them say no.”
Local artisan Paul Selman also gifted each grand marshal a plaque made of inlaid wood, thanking them for their service.
Precautions for COVID-19 are being taken into account and planning is in place to stick to the Center for Disease Control guidelines, said Phillips.
“We’ll place Porta Potties like we’ve had in the past, and this year we’ll have hand-wash stations and hand sanitizer in addition,” she said. Face masks and gloves are welcome, and social distancing will be promoted as much as possible, she said, “We are welcoming anybody to come into town and do what is comfortable for them.”
Phillips explained the celebration this year will be unique.
“The lip sync contest is coming back,” she said. “It hasn’t been here for quite a few years.” After searching through activities at past celebrations, this seemed like a safe and fun option for everybody, she said. “There’s also lots of activities for kids this year, too, which people may not know, and we have some events to keep them occupied while the logging show is going on as well.” She continued, “The kiddies parade and the lip sync contest will be a lot of fun on Friday, then we have a ping-pong ball drop on Saturday, and a sawdust scramble.”
Other attractions include displays from local artisans, according to Phillips. “The quilting show is always a big hit, and this year it will also include two beautiful horse pictures donated by woodworker Paul Selman for silent auction to benefit the community library.”
Preregistration for the main parade is still available; forms and drop-off are located at the Elk City General Store. For information, contact Phillips at 208-842-2359.
Elk City Days is a unique part of life in North Central Idaho, said Phillips.
“Everything is fun; it’s very small town and it’s very participant-welcome,” she said. “Part of the interest is to come into Elk City, which is such a great town, and it tends to be a reunion for people who have grown up here as a kid or lived here over the years. Even for people who move away, Elk City always seems to keep a piece of their heart.”
She added, “Living here really makes an impact on people’s lives, and that’s why people want to come back for the celebrations. They like to remember what was here, they know what they’re going to see, and they know that they’re going to be welcome.”