Nampa Trail Depot

The historic Nampa Train Depot Museum is a landmark in downtown Nampa. This weekend’s first annual Depotfest is a fundraiser to help in the restoration of the facility.

NAMPA — The Canyon County Historical Society will host the first annual Nampa Depotfest Saturday and Sunday in downtown Nampa at the museum grounds. Proceeds for the event will help to restore the iconic Nampa Train Depot.  

Slated for the first weekend in August each year, Nampa Depotfest will be an annual two-day celebration of the Nampa Train Depot. The festival will feature arts and crafts booths, food, music, children’s games and activities, antique cars, historic recreations, contests, demonstrations, vendor booths, museum tours, railroad memorabilia, and a beer and wine garden.

“The event is designed to draw people to the depot museum, celebrate it and let them know what we are doing here,” Wendy Miller, director of the Canyon County Historical Society said.

One attraction sure to delight children will be the Operation Lifesaver Street Train that will be giving free rides in downtown Nampa. 

There will also be a raffle for a DIRECTV package worth more $1,150.  The package includes a satellite dish, up to four receivers, standard professional installation for a residential setting, a one-year complimentary DIRECTV Choice Extra programming package and other features. Tickets are just $5 each and the drawing will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday. 

Other attractions include gold panning demonstrations with Kay and Mary Gabiola from Emmett. Attendees will have a chance to try their hand panning for gold.

Historian Joe Bell will portray Nampa founder Alexander Duffes as he conducts walking tours each hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Colonel and Mrs. Dewey will mingle with the crowd and members of the Style n’ Time who dress up in antique costumes will also add to the event’s ambiance.

Musical entertainment includes old railroad songs sung by Darrell Dice, Dennis Goff and David Ferdinand Saturday from 11 a..m. to 1 p.m.; the Eldon Tapp Band from 2 to 4 p.m., the Swinger Band and Hot Spuds on Saturday. Sunday’s music is highlighted by a performance from T.T. Miller from 2 to 4 p.m. Miller started with Paul Revere and the Raiders.

 Vendor booths are still available. Call 467-7611 for more information.

Capital campaign progress

The Canyon County Historical Society launched its capital campaign last year with the goal of restoring the Nampa Train Depot. Progress made this past year includes an update of the electrical system with all new electrical wiring and the installation of a new electrical panel. Funds are currently being raised to replace the 108-year-old plumbing and restore restrooms at the facility.

The historic 1903 Nampa Train Depot is one of the few depots in Idaho that has not been fully restored.   All proceeds from this event will go into the Capital Campaign and will be used to help in the $500,000 restoration project. The event is free to the public and both the museum and the 1942 caboose will be open free of charge during the event.

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