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Free food, prizes and activities for the community at bi-annual Twilight Tour


ABERDEEN – A bi-annual event in Aberdeen is making a comeback for the first time in three years.

The Aberdeen Research and Extension Center for the University of Idaho’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is hosting its 7th bi-annual Twilight Tour on Wednesday, July 13.

The event gives the public a chance to see different types of food production and ag research projects the university is involved in.

Kristi Copeland, one of the event’s organizers, tells there will be 15-20 booths on display and people can expect to see lots of hands-on, interactive activities at each one.

“We will have booths set up all around our big lawn area where there are different research projects (on display),” Copeland says.

Among those in attendance will be Pamela Hutchinson, a UI Extension potato cropping systems weed scientist, who will be serving foods made from edible weeds.

The 4-H and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will have an activity trailer and the Lamb Weston Potato Plant from American Falls will have a fry truck. The Idaho Wheat Commission, Idaho Barley Commission and Idaho Potato Commission will also be represented.

A variety of games and activities will be available, including horse-drawn wagon rides, potato sack races, a strongman contest, where people can see who can lift the largest amount of potatoes, and a scavenger hunt.

“They’ll have passports where they can get stamps at each of the (exhibits),” says Copeland. “If they get their passport filled up, they get a little prize.”

Prizes will be awarded to the winner of each activity and raffle tickets will be given to participants, who will have a chance to win door prizes throughout the evening. U of I T-shirts, sweatshirts and an official U of I cornhole set will be among the prizes offered.

The first 100 children who arrive will receive a free U of I piggy bank.

After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Copeland says it’s exciting to be hosting the event again.

“We’re happy to get out there again … and to be open to the public,” she says.

The Twilight Tour began in 2009. It’s held every year but it alternates with the research center in Kimberly.

“They do it the opposite year of us; 2021 was our year to do it but with COVID we weren’t allowed to so … we’re doing it this year,” says Copeland.

Many people are unaware of the types of research projects the U of I participates in and organizers saw this as a way to educate people about it while providing an outing for families at the same time.

“It’s an opportunity … to help people get a taste of agriculture in the local area,” Chad Jackson, operations manager of the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center, says in a news release. “We have a lot of things that benefit society that we do here, and we like to share it with the community and give them an opportunity to have some fun.”

Barbecued chicken sandwiches from Stokes Market will be served, along with salads prepared by Tooley’s Gas and Grill. Live music will be provided.

The Twilight Tour will go from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

twilight tour dinner pic
Kristi Copeland

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