The cities of Blackfoot and Shelley are located in Bingham County, a fertile rural area in southeast Idaho’s Upper Snake River. In fact, the tall green grass and abundant rain fall were what prompted city founder John F. Shelley to relocate his family and build the area’s first store, barn and residence. It was Shelley – due to a need for help in shipping building supplies into the area – who arranged for the railroad to stop the train to unload a carload full of lumber. After the Oregon Short Line Railroad Company constructed the railroad spur on that very spot, they named the new town “Shelley,” in honor of its first entrepreneur.
Today, the spirit of Bingham County’s first pioneers is very much alive in Blackfoot and Shelley. Both cities have evolved to offer an ideal hometown atmosphere, unparalleled recreational amenities and exceptional cultural arts. Shelley hosts four lovely city parks – Shelley City Park, Brinkman, West Side and Pillsbury Parks. A nature trail, perfect for jogging, walking or rollerblading, connects the city of Shelley to Bingham County Park. For water activities, Gem Lake Dam and Bingham County North Park are located within three miles of Shelley on the banks of the Snake River. Jensen Grove is the centerpiece of Blackfoot’s parks.
Both Blackfoot and Shelley celebrate exciting annual events. Shelley hosts the annual Idaho Spud Day, commemorating the harvest of Idaho’s most famous export. Blackfoot is home to the Eastern Idaho State Fair and Blackfoot “Pride Days” is held at the end of June. The Potato Expo, located in the old railroad depot on Main Street, entertains residents and visitors alike with the history of the potato and other potato trivia. Blackfoot is also home to the Blackfoot Community Players and the historic Nuart Theater provides a venue for the River Valley Singers, a community chorale. A Centennial Committee is planning an extravaganza of entertainment for its 100th birthday celebration, including a Centennial Ball, a citywide barbecue and an Arbor Day celebration.
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