BOISE - The state known for its potatoes rang in the new year the only way it can -- with the 4th annual Idaho Potato Drop.
Thousands turned out in downtown Boise to see the new and improved "Glowtato" drop at midnight. The day-long event also featured family-friendly entertainment including several musical acts, a rail jam competition, and the jump rope skills of the Summerwind Skippers.
With temperatures dropping into the single digits Saturday night, attendees were thankful for a new addition to this year's celebration - a free family warming tent.
"We can accommodate easily 1,000 people at a time in 80-degree heat," said Dylan Cline, CEO of the Idaho Potato Drop. "And we have food trucks down here with old-fashioned kettle corn tacos."
Gateway Parks brought winter sports to downtown with a rail jam at Capitol Park. The event was a pre-qualifier for major winter sports competitions. Organizers say its a great way to show off the sport.
"Free skiing and snowboarding has really taken off over the last few years so it's fun to watch all the kids get involved from little ones all the way out to college students coming out to compete," said series director Michael Teschner.
But despite all of the entertainment throughout the day, what people were really excited to see was the new, internally-lit "Glowtato." It was hoisted up early in the evening, then began lowering as the crowd counted down to midnight.
As the clock struck 2017, fireworks exploded and the crowd erupted in cheers to welcome the new year.