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Arts & Culture

105-Year-Old Idaho Picnic Celebrates The Mountains And Prairies Of Camas County

Camas County Picnic Association
Folks in Camas County have been coming together for a picnic potluck since 1913.

Sharon Kohler was raised in a farmhouse near Fairfield, Idaho. She remembers the annual pioneer picnic which would take place every summer in Camas County, and how they sometimes held it in the Pioneer Mountains north of Fairfield. But for the last couple of decades, organizers have held it in town.

“We invite anybody who’s living on the prairie," says Kohler, "or visiting actually – to come and be a part of what we’re doing.”

She says the first picnic came together in 1913, back when farms in the area were spread out and socializing between families took some effort.  

“They wanted a picnic where people could just celebrate and bring food – it was a potluck – and square dance … just have a great time.”

This year, Kohler and her team will bring the event back to the mountains – to Soldier Mountain Ski Area specifically. The ski hill was founded in 1947, and Kohler says the event is a way to spotlight the historical impact Soldier Mountain has had in the community.

Besides fried chicken and potluck dishes, the picnic will also feature a digital republishing of the county’s history book. The free event will be held from 12-4 p.m. at the Soldier Mountain Ski Area Lodge.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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