Picture a bright fall day. What do you think of? Piles of fat orange pumpkins? Baskets of tart, crisp apples? Roadside markets piled high with the harvest’s bounty? Southwestern Idaho is the state’s fruit bowl. In autumn, many Idahoans take day trips on the roads linking such towns as Fruitland, Emmett, Payette, and Weiser to stock up on the season’s produce and enjoy some of the state’s loveliest fall foliage. Any time of year, Weiser is the most interesting town in this neck of the woods. Weiser is best known as site of the annual National Old-Time Fiddlers Contest. As much a family reunion as a competition, the fiddle fests have been going on in Weiser since 1914. The town became host to the Northwest Mountain Fiddlers Contest in 1953, and the national championship was inaugurated in 1963, Idaho’s territorial centennial. The contest is held the third full week of June, drawing about 300 contestants ages four to ninety and more than 10,000 spectators. Year-round, Weiser is home to the Fiddlers Hall of Fame, located in the old Oregon Short Line depot at the end of State Street. Stop by to see photos of past champions, including noted bowman Mark O’Connor. If you miss the Old-Time Fiddlers Contest, try to time your Weiser visit to the second or fourth Thursday September through June, when local fiddlers come to jam. Down the block at 30 East Idaho Street, the Knights of Pythias built an impressive temple to Pythianhood back in 1904. Cross the street for a good view of the Pythian Castle, which was built for $9,000 using sandstone quarried on the nearby Weiser River. Inside, the building has a vaulted pressed-tin ceiling that may be the finest of its kind in the Northwest. Anyone allergic to chocolate or laughter should steer a wide berth around Fawn’s Classic Candies at 449 State Street in Weiser. Fawn Olsen started her business in her home; today, it ships candies nationwide and even overseas. Fawn and her crew have a neat sense of humor, offering such confections as the “Chocolate Brady Gun” (labeled “Do Not Eat for Five Days”) and “Kowpies” (chocolate fudge shaped into, well, you can imagine). But this is also a good place to learn about the serious business of candy-making. Stop by on a weekday to see the process in action. Each piece of candy is hand-dipped, and each has a subtle “signature” on the outside so the cooks can tell at a glance what kind of filling is inside. The above description is an excerpt from "Idaho: Off the Beaten Path." Whether you're a visitor or a local looking for something different, this chapter from the Off the Beaten Path series will help you take the "road less traveled" and discover hidden attractions, unique finds, and unusual locales that most tourists miss.
© Copyright Julie Fanselow published by Insiders' Guide all rights reserved.
This travel guide comes from:
Idaho Off the Beaten Path Guide Book