Best Moments of the Year

What we’ll remember in the years to come

Published online: Dec 30, 2021 Articles, Holidays, Lifestyle I.F. Magazine Staff
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As 2021 comes to a close, we will undoubtedly repeat common phrases amongst ourselves, such as “I can’t believe it’s New Year’s already!” or “How the time flies!” Although it is an event we know to expect, it is shocking when it finally falls upon us and we are left reminiscing over the good and the bad. We’ve collected moments from throughout the year to memorialize the best times we shared during what was a difficult year for many still recovering from a worldwide pandemic.

A Recap of Major Local Events

January 1 In the New Year, Idaho Falls Magazine celebrated 20 years of publication and Harris Publishing began their 50th year of operation.

April 16Beth Swenson, Assistant Director at the Idaho Falls Public Library, was named the Librarian of the Year by the Idaho Library Association (ILA).

May 16Longtime City of Idaho Falls golf pro Tim Reinke has been selected for induction into the Rocky Mountain Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Hall of Fame.

May 18After more than a decade, the Idaho Falls Auditorium District celebrated the start of construction on the Mountain American Event Center and Hero Arena at Snake River Landing.

June 3Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) adds two new nonstop routes to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) 

June 30 Deputy laboratory director, Juan Alvarez of Idaho National Laboratory (INL) was nationally recognized for inclusive leadership when he was awarded the Leadership Excellence Award.

August 24 This date was declared Idaho Falls Bandits Day after the local baseball team won back-to-back American Legion World Championships.

September 9 A mysterious smell appeared in Idaho Falls. Though putrid, the odor led to many good-natured jokes as authorities worked to find the source. Days later it was found to be a new pesticide used on nearby crops.

October 6The Idaho Falls Rotary Club presented the City of Idaho Falls with a $700,000 check to assist with the development of the city’s newest recreational property, Heritage Park. 

October 18Mayor Casper kicked off Operation Appreciation at Idaho Falls Community Hospital to celebrate the extraordinary efforts of health care workers as the world recovers from the impact of COVID-19. Citizens showed up at the hospital to honor workers with thank-you signs and posted videos to social media to express their appreciation.

October 20 Director Rick Cloutier of the Idaho Falls Regional Airport announced Alaska Airlines will be offering direct flights to Boise in June 2022.

November 3 Rebecca Casper won the mayoral race, earning her third term in office.

November 15–19 The Festival of Trees returned in person at Elk’s Lodge, drawing locals out to celebrate and earning funds for the Development Workshop. 

Another Year in the Books

Memories shared by Idaho Falls Magazine staff

One of the best days of the year was May 19 when my third grandson Noah Conner Hallam was born. Noah joined two brothers, Sawyer and Aiden. Another day that was important to me was August 6, the day my second daughter Sam married Zach Spielman, a wonderful man and partner. Although the weather was a bit dreary, the celebration was wonderful with family and friends together. Those were two incredibly happy moments this year. 

Unfortunately on July 21, I lost one of my best friends, Valeria Maxwell. I considered Valerie to be a second mother. It was truly a sad day for me, although she lived a good long life. 

The final day that stands out to me is October 15, the day my new grandson came home after a week-long stay in the hospital with RSV. What a relief after watching him suffer from a cough and labored breathing due to an upper respiratory infection! So, with all the highs and lows, the take away is—life is precious, make every day count!

—Chris Sheetz, General Manager

Visiting my family in Florida this summer was one of the highlights of my year. It’s always a thrill for me to try new foods and activities, and I loved getting to explore while spending quality time with loved ones. One day, we chose to float the Ichetucknee near Gainesville. Although the fear of getting eaten by alligators was in the back of my mind, I won’t be forgetting the joy of paddling my hands in the water as I avoided slamming my float into branches with turtles resting on them. Sometimes I was unsuccessful, causing creatures to flee or get knocked by my water toy, but we all survived. If I’ve learned any lesson this year, it’s to take risks and let go of the forces beyond my control, even if it means temporary discomfort. 

—Emily FitzPatrick, Editor

My family and I have had a lot of great moments in 2021. We traveled to Florida where we enjoyed the hot weather and humidity as we watched our daughters cheer team compete and become a Summit Finalist at ESPN. Our son graduated from high school, and our daughter finished up high school a year early. But probably the greatest blessing of this year; we are all healthy (knock on wood)!

—Shantelle Stewart, Administrative Assistant

There are so many major events from 2021 that our pages don’t have the space to hold. Share your memories and potential story ideas with our editor to be published in a future issue of Idaho Falls Magazine. Emily FitzPatrick can be reached by email at emily@harrispublishing.com. 

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