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  • Writer's pictureJenna King

7 QUIRKY FACTS ABOUT BOISE

There are numerous reasons why Boise is such a special city. With the river flowing through, the friendly people, the numerous breweries—the list goes on and on. Whether you decide to visit or to stay, there are a few fun quirky things that you should know about the City of Trees.


Idaho Potato Drop

We like to do things a little differently here in the state of Idaho. While most people view the ball drop in Times Square to ring in the New Year, Idahoans gather at the state capitol to watch a giant potato fall from the sky. The “GlowTato” has been a part of Boise’s history since 2013, with the event evolving to include a firework display, live entertainment, and a VIP room.


Geothermal Heating

Geothermal water flows through the more than 20 miles of pipeline that run under the streets of Boise to heat six million square feet of the city, from swimming pools to heated sidewalks. Boise has used geothermal heat since the 1890s with the first home to be heated by geothermal water located on the historic Warm Springs Avenue. In 1983, the Geothermal Heat system was created. Now a part of the largest, municipally-operated system in the country, the system provides heat to more than 90 buildings throughout downtown Boise.


It’s “Boy-SEE”

Walk around downtown Boise and you are sure to see a few t-shirts, bumper stickers, and other swag that proudly declares “Boy-SEE.” What is the meaning behind this strange phrase? It is a reminder to everyone how to pronounce the name of our favorite city! If you want people to know you are visiting or new to the City of Trees, then just be sure to refer to it as “Boy-ZEE” and all the natives will quickly correct you.


Famous Idaho Ice Cream Potato

Westside Drive-In has been a staple of Boise since it first opened in 1957. While the drive-in is well known for its prime rib special, it is the Famous Idaho Ice Cream Potato that cannot be missed. At first glance, you might be a little appalled at the idea of the combination of potato and ice cream. However do not let the strange appearance fool you, there is no actual potato involved in this sweet treat! The Ice Cream Potato is actually vanilla ice cream that is shaped like a potato. The ice cream is then dusted with cocoa powder to resemble a potato’s skin and then topped with whipped cream, Oreo crumbles, and peanuts. Yum!


Idaho’s Basque Population

Woven through the history of Boise is the Basque culture. The Basque country is located in the Pyrenees mountains, along the border of Spain and France. The Basque people originally came to Idaho in search of silver, but others became ranchers and sheepherders. Many remained, settling down with their families and resulting in the largest concentration of Basque population in the United States. The Basque block in downtown Boise is a testament to the culture, with such draws as Bar Gernika and Bardenay.


The “Smurf Turf”

“Smurf Turf,” “THE BLUE,” Albertsons Stadium, the home of the Boise State Broncos—whatever you call it, the famous blue football field located just south of downtown Boise is a draw for locals and visitors. The blue field, installed in 1986, was the first non-green artificial football field in the US. Visitors can snap a selfie with THE BLUE at the Allen Noble Hall of Fame.


The “City of Trees”

Boise’s nickname as the “City of Trees” might seem odd with its location in a high-desert area, but when settlers first viewed the trees lining the river, it resembled an oasis. The legend is that French Canadian fur trappers crested the mountains and exclaimed “Les bois!”(“woods” in English) when they caught sight of the Boise River Valley. The City of Boise continues this legacy with the City of Trees Challenge, a movement to plant 100,000 trees over the next decade.


What’s your favorite fun fact about Boise? Let me know in the comments below! I love learning new information about my favorite city. If you ever have any questions about the ever-changing marketplace or know someone looking to buy or sell, please do not hesitate to reach out.

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