Local businesses hoping to spread joy during COVID-19 with new virtual happy hour - East Idaho News
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Local businesses hoping to spread joy during COVID-19 with new virtual happy hour

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Brad Barlow, left, and Jeremy Taylor announce the Idaho Falls Family Happy Hour during a press conference Thursday morning. Watch it in the video player above. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS — City officials and local businesses are teaming up to provide you with a free hour of virtual entertainment every Saturday.

Idaho Falls Family Happy Hour is a new six-week Facebook series kicking off this Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Each show will last an hour and a different guest will be featured every week.

“It’s going to be like you are in the room with us experiencing everything that we’re experiencing,” Jeremy Taylor, one of the event hosts, said during a press conference Thursday morning.

Saturday’s show will be a comedy night special with comedians Spence Roper and Steve Soelberg. Future shows are scheduled to include behind-the-scenes tours of local businesses and city facilities, art and cooking classes, an inspirational speaker and a variety show.

“This is really cool because you see these things happening all over the country where artists are doing concerts playing to a bunch of cars instead of packed crowds,” Barlow says. “This is something that’s going to be put together every single week just for Idaho Falls.”

Taylor says the idea behind happy hour is to give families something fun to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everybody’s feeling the same thing. We’re going nuts because we can’t do anything,” says Taylor. “This is something you can do from wherever you are and feel like you’re a part of what we’re experiencing and we want you to experience it live with us.”

Mayor Rebecca Casper, who was also at the press conference, said there have been a lot of conversations about mental health for several months and she hopes this series will provide an escape to bring joy to people of all ages.

“It’s all come together because we have some amazing, talented people in the community who care about this community,” Casper says.

Local company I.E. Productions is producing the shows in partnership with the Downtown Event Center and the Idaho Falls Arts Council.

A full schedule of the shows will be featured on the Idaho Falls Family Hour Facebook page, along with other information about show participants. To stream the event live or learn more, click here.