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Idaho Day celebration to focus on ‘women in white’


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An Idaho sunset on the Snake River in Idaho Falls. | Brittni Johnson,

IDAHO FALLS — Idaho Day in Bonneville County will focus on women this year.

The Bonneville County Heritage Association celebrates the Gem State by hosting a free event for the community on March 4 at the Colonial Theater at 498 A Street in Idaho Falls. The theme is “Idaho Women in White,” since 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Women in the suffrage movement often wore white to emphasize the virtue of their cause.

“All too often, women don’t get full credit for what they do,” BCHA State Idaho Day Rep. Linden Bateman said. “They weren’t fully appreciated (back then), and sometimes today, we take their actions for granted and what they do.”

Idaho Day commemorates President Abraham Lincoln approving Idaho as a territory in 1863. On July 3, 1890, Idaho became the nation’s 43rd state, and it was the fourth state to grant women’s suffrage in 1896.

“This is our state’s day, and it’s a chance to look at the history and the background of the state,” BCHA webmaster and historian David Nipper said. “Idaho was one of the first states to give women the vote before the country did, so that’s one more building block in knowing our history.”

The celebration of Idaho gets underway at 6 p.m. with the opportunity to view student contest submissions and participate in a silent auction. Items will be donated from local merchants. Proceeds from the auction will go towards BCHA programs and events.

The Idaho Old Time Fiddlers will provide prelude music.

The main program begins at 7 p.m. BCHA will showcase a short film highlighting women in the suffrage movement.

“It’ll be a beautiful feature of women wearing white. It’s a blend of art and history,” said Bateman, who came up with the film idea.

Also on the evening’s agenda is the presentation of the Heritage Hero Awards of Bonneville County. The awards will be given to the Healing Sanctuary Clinic, Oswald Service and Repair, and North Hi-Way Café.

Fourth-grade student choirs from Westside and Dora Erickson Elementary schools will provide more music, and the winners of the student contests will be announced.

“As an association, we always work towards getting our youth involved,” BCHA President Ann Rydalch said. “(With them singing) that way, they aren’t only performing, but hopefully listening to pledges and speakers so they can be educated as well.”