Rupert, Idaho: Christmas City, USA

7 years ago

Author: Brian Holmes
Published: 7:41 PM MST December 21, 2016
Updated: 7:47 PM MST December 21, 2016

RUPERT, Idaho - A lot of Idaho cities have nicknames - from the City of Trees to the Gateway to Yellowstone - but only one can lay claim to the Christmas holiday.

Rupert, also officially known as "Christmas City" by the State of Idaho, has been going all-in on the winter holiday for decades.


Since the town's beginning's at the turn of the 20th century, residents have put a special focus on decorating Rupert Square for the Christmas holiday.

"It's been important from day one," said City Administrator Kelly Anthon.

Today the festive spirit lives on, with every shop window adorned in Christmas colors.

"Rupert's always been a Christmas city from the very beginning," said city historian Gary Schorzman.

But they didn't always have the official merry moniker that they do today. According to Schorzman, back in the 1960s, city leaders formed a Christmas City Committee, which finally got the town the recognition, and definition, they felt it deserved.

In 1987, Gov. Cecil D. Andrus proclaimed the city of 6,000 residents as "Christmas City."

Over the decades, Rupert residents have raised thousands of dollars to dress downtown in decorations, including tens of thousands of lights, a Santa shack. They also pipe in Christmas music from an open office window.