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Events for All Seasons

 The Plaza is the perfect place to explore or meet friends and family year-round! Here are just a few things to look forward to each season! 

Spring 

Springtime at the Plaza is all about new beginnings. The Spring Eggstravaganza is a free community Easter egg hunt as well as a chance to pick up everything you need to get your garden backyard projects started! The Eggstravaganza is held annually the Saturday the weekend before Easter.

The Mother’s Day Vintage Market, held on the Saturday before Mothers' Day is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with Mom and pick up a few things to decorate the house with after your spring cleaning.  

Summer 

When the weather gets warm enough, the fountains and splash pads will be turned on for everyone to enjoy! Summer is jam-packed with events and activities at the PlazaEvery Tuesday mid-may thought mid-October we will have the Farm to Fork Farmers’ Market!  Caldwell is known for its excellent produce, flowers, eggs and meat and now you will be able to grab it all in downtown Caldwell! 

We also have a weekly Concert Series on Tuesdays during the market! We’re calling the market and concert ‘Tuesdays on the Creek’ so make sure to come down after work for a fun evening with friends and family! 

Fall  

Fall in Caldwell is all about the harvest, and events and activities at the Plaza reflect it! Indian Creek Festival takes place the third weekend in September every year! Then, the Great Downtown Harvest Festival, held in late October, will mark the end of harvest season.  

Winter 

In November, downtown is transformed! Nearly one-million holiday lights decorate downtown, and the Plaza transforms into Idaho’s only, and the nation’s seventh, ice skating ribbon and ice rink.  Over 35,000 people ice-skate at the Plaza during our season. Are you planning to help us beat our record this year? Ice skating and winter events continue through February until the temperature starts to rise for Spring.  

While this article mentions just a few of the big events at the Plaza, there is always something going on here! You might find games like corn hole and ping pong pop up unannounced. The Plaza is available for public & private events hosted by community organizations. To see all of the events and activities happening, and for details about the events mentioned above, visit IndianCreekPlaza.com . Or, just stop by anytime and join us...no invitation needed! 

Tuesday Farmers’ Market at Indian Creek Plaza 

 By Madison Huck, Destination Caldwell Intern 

Enjoy the crisp spring air, sweet smells and farm-fresh goods at Caldwell’s new outdoor farmers market from 5 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday May 19 through October 16 at Indian Creek Plaza.  

The Farm to Fork Farmers’ Market was designed to make it easy for everyone in Caldwell to get fresh, local food straight from the source. For generations families in Caldwell have produced the best fruits, vegetables, spiceswines, proteins, and dairy around and now you can get it all in one place! 

The Farm to Fork Farmers’ Markets’ opening weeks will feature plant and vegetable starts such as cucumbers and pumpkins. In June and July shoppers can expect to see fruitand squash, peppers, tomatoes. Crops like apples and corn will be available in late summer and early fall.  

You will also be able to find proteins at the market. Get farm-raised eggs, chicken, pork and beef from a local farmer! Most proteins are available by-the-pound. If you are looking to fill your freezer you can also talk to the farmers about bulk-buying options. 

 Caldwell is also the home of the Sunnyslope Wine Trail, a collection of 16 wineries in the heart of Idaho’s wine country. So naturally, you will also be able to purchase local wine at the market! Several wineries will be featured throughout the summer including Huston Vineyards, Sawtooth Estate Winery, and Vizcaya Winery.  

 To make this market ‘farm to fork’ there has to be prepared food, right? Mid-summer chefs will be at the market, too! The featured chef will shop from the market stalls, then prepare food made there on site to sell shoppers! 

 The market will also have artisan vendors such as home décor, jewelry, and skin care.  

This event is not only a great way to purchase items sold directly from Caldwell’s’ community members but an even better way to spend time with friends and family. The market is held in conjunction with Indian Creek Plaza’s summer concert series, Tuesdays on the Creek. Live music will start each Tuesday at 6pm.

If you want to know more about what produce will be at the market each week, look for the ‘Farm to Fork Farmers’ Market’ event on Facebook. We hope to see you at the Farmers’ Market on Tuesday! 

Food on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail

By Jim Thomssen, Idaho Wine Ambassador   

Wow – All this wine tasting has made me hungry! 

Wine and food have gone together longer than peanut butter and jelly. Luckily, there are great options for food out on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail. From full-service restaurants to fruit stand inspired picnics you can make a full day tour on the Slope seem like a trip to France, Spain or the Napa Valley. 

Restaurants on the Trail 

The Orchard House sits right in the middle of the trail on Highway 55. They have a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner service. They also have wonderful seasonal outdoor seating. As a big fan of breakfast, I have to tell you all that the Biscuits and Gravy at the Orchard house is head and shoulders above a lot of places across the entire country. Try to get out there before they switch over the kitchen to the lunch menu (before 10:30) and have a great base in your stomach to taste wine with! They also have an “All Idaho” wine list so you can enjoy what you’ve tasted with lunch or dinner without breaking into the case of wine you’ve just put in your trunk. 

Another gem along the Trail is Vine and Branch Ranch on Hoskins road near Hwy 55. They are combining local produce, local wines, and local ciders to make a new culinary hot spot for us all to enjoy. Their philosophy revolves on the theory “if it grows together then it goes together”. They host multi-course wine and farm-to-fork meals year round with a great team of purveyors and chefs. They also have a fabulous small plate menu that can make a wonderful “Foodie” experience with a flight of Stack Rock Ciders or Snake River Wines. 

Eat at a Winery 

Many wineries and tasting rooms have picnic food available for purchase on site. Check the winery profiles to see if they have any food services available there. Food policies at each winery vary, so check ahead of time if it would be okay to bring your own picnic or celebration food! Eating between tastings is encouraged, and most wineries allow you to bring a picnic. Several wineries have outdoor seating. Vizcaya Winery has a great pavilion available for picnics so call ahead to determine if it’s available. Bringing your own alcohol is not allowed at any vineyard or winery. 

Parma Ridge Winery has a full kitchen and a very talented staff. They do a fabulous job pairing dishes with their wines and it is a great place to start or end your wine trail adventure! 

Many wineries also hold farm-to-fork or winemakers' dinners during the warmer months. These multi-course dinners pair the vineyard's wine with local food, often picked that day from just down the road. It's a great experience to sit outside on the vineyard grounds with others who enjoy wine and food and hear from the chef and winemaker about the one-of-a-kind pairings they have created. Tickets are usually limited, so if you discover there is a dinner while you are visiting the Sunnyslope, grab your tickets right away. There is no better way to experience the heart of Idaho Wine Country! 

Idaho Wine and Food Pairing Ideas 

Lot’s of folks like to talk about food and wine pairings. What’s the deal? It can get pretty complicated at times. Wine flavors are derived from specific components: sugar, acid, fruit, tannin and alcohol. Foods also have flavor components, such as fat, acid, salt, sugar and bitterness. There are “Rules” that white wine goes with fish and Red with meats, but I find that kind of limiting. Here are some ideas about how to pair food with wine from the Sunnyslope while you are here or at home! 

Barbecued anything can go well with an Idaho Tempranillo. 

Try a sparkling wine from Sawtooth with some salty snacks of fried food. The bubbles and acids clean your palate between bites and add some flavor tweaks as well. 

 Salad can be tough to pair wine with but if you use a little less vinegar in your dressing a Hat Ranch Sauvignon Blanc could be a perfect choice to offset the sometimes bitterness of an arugula salad. 

A stilton cheese with a red dessert wine From Bitner Vineyards (similar to Port wines) as an after-dinner course will make you forget about a traditional dessert! 

Wine and Food can open up all sorts of exciting options. It’s not often that we get the chance to combine two things and make them both come out tasting better together than they did on their own. It’s exciting and the Sunnyslope Wine Trail is right in the center of it all. Come on out and experience it for yourself! 

 Cheers & Bon Appétit! 

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