Annual Dairy Days festival has been a regional fixture for more than 90 years.
Meridian’s strong ties to dairy farming date back to the early 1900s, with the opening of the Consolidated Creamery plant that produced milk, cream, butter, cheese and ice cream. Today, “milk cows” are still a part of the area economy, with five dairies in Meridian and nearly 30 in Ada County.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that dairy farming remains Idaho’s top agriculture industry, which is why the sector is celebrated during the Meridian Dairy Days weekend every June. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 festival was canceled but returned with gusto in 2021.
One of the highlights of the event each year is the largest parade in Idaho, always cow-themed and often attracting more than 100 entries and 25,000 to 30,000 spectators who line the parade route.
Other festival activities include a carnival, pancake feed, dairy cattle show, goat show, fun run, musical performances, beer garden, food court, an Old McDonald farm, vendors, fireworks and the crowning of a dairy princess. Events take place at Meridian Speedway and Storey Park.
Besides showcasing the dairy industry, the festival’s mission is to develop strong leaders for the community’s future by supporting 4-H and FFA in the Meridian area. Several student scholarships are raised and presented to 4-H and FFA students during each year of this Treasure Valley festival tradition.