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The Greater Yellowstone Area is the only remaining large biologically intact temperate ecosystem in North America, comparable in size and diversity to Africa’s Serengeti!Learn More

Culture and History

Finding a cultural event within Eastern Idaho is easy and fun. There are many options, for both day or night, to engulf yourself in fine art, music and dance. The art shows, stage performances, and concerts are superb and affordable. Every cultural event is produced with a goal in mind: entertain and educate while preserving America's varied peoples and traditions.

Information on public cultural events can be found by contacting the Idaho Falls Art Council. Many events are conveniently held at the Willard's Art Center & Colonial Theater in Idaho Falls and on the Brigham Young University-Idaho Campus.

Exploring the history and the culture of Eastern Idaho is an experience like none other. There are Museums where you can learn through hands-on exhibits: the birth of television, the history of early combat aircraft, and the Teton Dam Flood disaster. Other activities that are equally informative can include visits to an Indian reservation, a historic carousel, a ghost town, or to one of Idaho's famous national parks—Craters of the Moon National Monument, Grand Teton National Park, or Yellowstone National Park.

If researching family history is an activity that interests you, there are a variety of Family History Centers where you can research or get help getting started with the exciting project of finding out your family's history.

Cultural Attractions

Eastern Idaho also has several cultural venues which host thrilling shows and events. It is home to the Idaho Falls Art Council, the Willard Colonial Theater, the Museum of Idaho, the East Idaho Art Museum, the Idaho Museum of Natural History, the Idaho Falls Symphony, and the Idaho Potato Museum. Explore all the area's cultural attractions in the Yellowstone Teton Territory listings to find more information about current programming and ticket prices. 

Idaho International Summerfest

From 1986, history has been made in Rexburg, Idaho as folk dancers from all around the world gather at the Idaho International Summerfest. The festival is a great example of dancers sharing their culture while they absorb an understanding of the freedoms found in America. Dancers come from approximately 10 different countries each year and only one team from each country can participate.  

Each year the fame of this Governor's award winning Festival grows. On three different occasions the Festival has been chosen as one of the top 100 events in North America by the American Bus Association. Teams consistently vote this Festival as the best they have ever attended. The Festival is associated with many folk dance organizations.  

The Idaho International Summerfest is a mixture of ceremony, dance instruction, dance performance, humanitarian efforts, and a mingling of host families and dancers. This balance of activity provides time for the locals and the visitors to almost become part of each other’s families.  The Idaho International Summerfest is an organization of the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce. A directing committee with hundreds of volunteers and interns put together this great community event. Come and celebrate with us and our guest teams from all over the world.

Grand Targhee Music Festivals

Experiencing a festival at Grand Targhee Resort in the majestic Tetons is a summer must. The mountain backdrop and high alpine setting create an atmosphere that is second-to-none offering a personal connection between the audience and the performers on stage. Camp in the surrounding area, bring your RV, stay in the resort’s mountainside lodges or vacation rentals, and get ready for an unforgettable weekend that will have you dancing and grinning for days! Tickets for Targhee Fest and the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival are availble through the Grand Targhee Resort website. 

BYU/Idaho Planetarium

The Royden G. Derrick planetarium at BYU first opened in March of 2005. The facility is located on the 4th floor of the Eyring Science Center on campus and is used primarily for holding university classes. However, the planetarium offers shows on Monday and Fridays for the public. The facility is also available for community groups. See the calendar for details. Ticket prices are very reasonable. Monday night tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for kids 12 & under.Tickets for the student productions on Friday night are $3 for adults, $2 for kids 12 & under. There is no programming during the summer.

Idaho Centennial Carousel

The Idaho Centennial Carousel is Idaho's only antique wooden carousel. It is one of 170 antique wooden carousels still existing in the United States. It has authentic carousel music from an organ run on paper rolls, providing old-fashioned original sounds.

This beautiful antique wooden carousel was built by Spillman Engineering Company of New York in about 1926. It began life as a traveling carnival machine. In 1947 it was moved to Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, Utah and then to Ogden, Utah. In 1952, a public spirited group in Rexburg were disappointed by a cancellation of their expected 4th of July carnival. They heard of the merry-go-round for sale in Ogden, Utah, raised $5,500 in cash and pledges and went down and got it. It was set up with 2 days to spare and the community had a wonderful celebration. Two years later a dome was built on it to protect it from the weather. In 1976 the Teton Dam flood waters damaged it severely and several horses were lost. In 1988 the carousel was dismantled and skilled craftsmen restored it. It was renovated by 1990 in time to commemorate Idaho's 100th birthday. It has 12 newly carved horses and 26 repaired horses along with repaired chariots. Music is by Stinson Band Organ Company in Ohio. The organ runs on a paper roll, providing the old-fashioned original sounds.

This carousel is a major attraction in Rexburg and a delight to people of all ages. It is considered a “jewel" of Porter Park in Rexburg. Although it is unique and has a rich history, it is not considered a museum piece but rather a working carousel for people to ride.

Make your reservation online at https://secure.rec1.com/ID/rexburg-recreation/catalog or contact the  City of Rexburg directly at (208) 372-2560 or via email [email protected] .