Rainbow image

LUCILE -- Idaho County officials are reporting the Rainbow Family of Living Light gathering, a counterculture community event, has settled in for its annual event, not up outside Powell as originally believed early this week but outside Lucile on Cow Creek Road.

The main event is expected to run July 1-7, with the main festivities set for July 4, according to Captain Jim Gorges, Idaho County Sheriff’s Office.

Typical events are in the 5,000 to 7,000 range for attendees, he said, “but this event could be considerably less than that, due to COVID, they’re being disorganized and fighting among themselves.”

Internal dissent between members and the group hierarchy have been split between not holding the event this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and those going forward regardless.

The Rainbow Family is described as a loose-knit group of people without leadership or organization who gather on national forests to discuss political and environmental issues, pray for world peace, and celebrate life. Since 1972, the event has taken place on a different national forest during the Fourth of July holiday.

In a statement earlier this week from Henry Heusinkveld, public affairs officer, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests:

“We are prepared to manage the event with a Type-III Incident Management Team (IMT) consisting of various resource and law enforcement specialists. We are communicating with local law enforcement, communities, and other agencies in communities that may be selected for the gathering to identify local concerns and needs that could be affected by a gathering of this size.”

“The Forest Service will keep affected communities informed as more information becomes available,” Heusinkveld continued. “Public safety, impacts to communities, and resource protection are our top priorities. The forest is taking into consideration the effects of COVID-19 on employees and the public.”

Agencies involved in monitoring the gathering’s activity include Idaho County, Forest Service and Idaho State Police.

Gorges said with this influx of people, the law enforcement concerns will be the use of illegal drugs, physical conflicts between participants, and potential petty theft incidents.

The Idaho County Free Press will be following this story as it develops.

Your support is needed now more than ever
Help support your local news

Local news sources need your help. Stay in the know on Coronavirus, local updates, and more.

Recommended for you

(2) comments


Please know that the larger majority of people who attend Rainbow Gatherings have agreed NOT to gather in Idaho for this annual event. Even so, because Rainbow is not an official organization and therefore has no leaders or representatives, some will gather regardless of the will of the larger community. For months, people have urged those intent on gathering not to do so. For more information or to fact-check this comment, please go to: www.OmfromHome.Org or visit: https://idaho2020gathering.blogspot.com/


Most of the Varsity Players on Our Team have decided to sit on the bench for this game, and what you guys will be seeing is the J V Team, mostly.

And there's the ones who have heard vague rumors of something called a "Rainbow Festival" and just want to show up and look for all the free drugs & sex (no, we really do all that)...

Sigh...wish I could read more than 2 articles before I have to go behind your pay wall. I am choosing to #omathome even though these gatherings don't get any closer than this to me, and every bone in my body is itching to pack up my gear & tell my dog Gracie it's time to go home... This year, no. Stupid idea.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.