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Sun Valley Harvest Festival Helps Boost Tourism Following Wildfire Season

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By KMVT News

Ketchum, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The Wood River Valley played host to some of the world's top chefs over the weekend; it was all part of the fiourth annual Sun Valley Harvest Festival.

Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall says events like these are key to helping the area's tourism industry bounce back after the Beaver Creek Fire.

Chef Malika Ameen is the executive pastry chef for an online company.; she traveled from Chicago, Illinois for the event. Ameen says she was blown away by the quality of Idaho's harvest, and even more so by the beauty of the area.

That's why its hard to believe less than two months ago the scene in the Wood River Valley was much different. The Beaver Creek Fire broke out August 7, forcing thousands of families from their homes and destroying more than 110,000 acres of land.

The smoke has cleared, but the fire is still fresh on the minds of families in the Wood River Valley, marked by signs thanking the firefighters who were called out to battle the flames.

The fire didn't just destroy land, it also took a toll on the town's tourism industry.

Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall explains, "Our economy was critically damaged from the fire. We've been thrown a couple of knockout punches the last couple of years. But we continue to bounce back, we're very resilient."

Highlighting the importance of events like the Sun Valley Harvest Festival in stimulating the local economy in an area that's already rich in beauty and community.

The Sun Valley Harvest Festival earned high honors over the weekend. Fodor's ranked the event one of the top 10 fall festivals across the globe.



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