As the story goes, before the devastating Main Street fire of 2004, Fred Mugler — the famed, or some might say infamous, Driggs, Idaho, shopkeeper — coined the sobriquet “the Cultural Hub of the Universe” for Teton Valley’s county seat.
The name stuck for the city of Driggs, and so did the growing arts scene showcased by the nonprofit Downtown Driggs Association.
For those who decide to venture over to the quiet side of the Tetons, the association has a summer full of events, concerts and shows featuring local as well as nationally acclaimed musicians, painters, potters and more.
Summer in Driggs starts Friday, when the weekly Artisan Fair opens in Mugler Plaza, the vacant lot between the Cotler Building and Fremont Building from where Old Fred once commanded Main Street.
Working in conjunction with the Teton Valley Farmers Market just down the street in the Driggs City Plaza, the Artisan Fair’s 10 booths featuring local and regional artisans open at 9 a.m. and run through 1 p.m. each week through Sept. 10. Captain Ron’s Smokehouse will be on-site, too, to sell sandwiches and snacks.
Starting July 4, the Downtown Drigg Association also presents three outdoor summer concerts at the Driggs City Plaza, with free music plus food, beer and wine available for sale.
George Kilby Jr. and the Road Dogs get the series started at 6:30 p.m. on Independence Day. Jack and Kia take the city stage to kick off the weeklong Driggs Plein Air Festival on July 25 (see sidebar). And the Teton’s favorite high-energy Latin ten-tet Calle Mambo wraps the series Aug. 14 .
In its 10th year, the annual Driggs Plein Air Festival once again will attract artists from around the world to paint the Teton region. Workshops and competitions start July 21 and run through July 31, with an exhibition hanging at the Driggs City Center and the artwork produced available for sale through Sept. 12.
And finally, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 6:30 p.m. July 20 at Driggs City Plaza. The performance is free for all, with food, beer and wine for sale.
For detail go to DowntownDriggs.org. ￼