Vendors report busy Hells Canyon Days in Cambridge, Idaho

In addition to hot rods and classic cars at the Hells Canyon Days show and shine, there were some decked-out semi-trucks on display in Cambridge over the weekend. Both Friday and Saturday featured activities around town. Photo by Steve Lyon
Steve Lyon
 Decent weather and lots of activities around town brought visitors to Cambridge on Saturday afternoon for the annual Hells Canyon Days.
 Food vendors that lined Superior Street offered everything from tri-tip sandwiches to tacos and reported good business. 
 The Cambridge Community Library’s annual book sale outside did well, with lots of browsers and buyers checking out tables of used books. The proceeds will be used to buy materials for the library. 
 “It’s been really busy,” library employee Heidi Hoskins said.
 Debbie Dibble, the owner of Dibble Farms, sold plants and flowers out of the back of her truck parked on main street. She said a lot of people bought flowers and sold out of some tomato varieties.
 “It is a lot of work, but I really enjoy it,” she said.
 On the other end of town, main street was blocked off for the 24th annual car show and shine on Saturday. 
 On the next street over, there were also 20 or so shiny semi-trucks lined up in rows for the Tim Harrison Memorial truck show.
 Don Dopf,  a longtime member of the Cambridge Commercial Club, has organized the car show since its inception. Car owners registered their hot rods and classic rides and vied for trophies in a number of categories. A total of 70 cars showed up, Dopf said.
 “They came slow today, but they came,” he said. 
 Dopf set up his music system and played oldies throughout the afternoon as visitors wandered around checking out the vehicles. 
 Over at the fairgrounds the dozen vendors at a flea market set up tables inside the livestock sale barn. Nearby, Baker Auction sold to the highest bidders the last of the inventory of the Superior Pawn Shop, which is no longer in business.
 The Cambridge Rodeo Association held its annual pit barbecue dinner with all the fixings at the fairgrounds exhibit hall. More than 400 people usually stop by for a plate piled high with barbecue pork, beans, potato salad, coleslaw and more, plus dessert.
 The dinner usually has a line of hungry diners waiting for the food to be served and always sells out .
 The pit barbecue is a  fundraiser for the rodeo organization. The rodeo association hosts an Idaho Cowboy Association-sanctioned rodeo every year during fair week in Cambridge.
 There were changes this year and there will be changes next year at Hells Canyon Days.
 The fine art and photography show did not happen this year due to a lack of entries.
 The 29th annual farm toy sale at the high school on Saturday was the last during Hells Canyon Days. The number of vendors has dropped over the years as collectors and sellers have moved online to buy and sell. 
 Irene and Larry Anderson of Weiser started the farm toy show in 1990 and have not missed a single year. 
 They turned the toy show organizing over to Mel and Judy Reber, of Prineville, Ore., who line up the vendors through their mailing list and own and operate Reber’s Farm Toys. 
 Reber said there were  27 vendors this year. The all-time record is 78 vendors at the toy show one year.
 “This is our farewell. We didn’t really know until we got here,” Judy Reber said.
 The Andersons said maybe someone else with an interest can continue the event.
 Hells Canyon Days has been held for at least 30 years. The Cambridge Commercial Club organizes the weekend of events with the Cambridge Rodeo Association. 
 It all got started in 1984, when there were various things going on around Cambridge, such as a horse sale, art show, square dancing competition and a farm toy show. It was decided to put all the events together and call it Hells Canyon Days.


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