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BLACKFOOT – On Thursday, many locations in downtown Blackfoot held free events for the public. Several bands and artists sang; the Nuart Theatre held free showings (which will continue until Saturday, June 29); people toured the Milmor and Potato Museum among many other exciting events. This was the same night the Morning News held their customer appreciation dinner and celebration where over 300 people showed to enjoy free hamburgers from Hopkins Packing Company, face painting by Nicole’s Creations, amazing animals (a goat, ducks, ponies, a lizard and more) from Snake River Doodles Petting Zoo, Greg West (DJ) and Tony Law (Poi Fire Artist).
Over 20 people who work for the Morning News attended to thank the public for over 100 years of kindness and loyalty. Gayle Cox, a long-time supporter of the local newspaper said, “It’s great to know that there are such nice people working here.”
This event was held to celebrate customers and recent successes. Within the last couple of months the Morning News has experienced a large increase in subscribers of the physical paper as well as followers and viewers online. The online presence has grown, substantially. In fact, as many as 35,000 viewers have been looking at posts per week.
Other members of the community said how much they love the changes in the newspaper. These revisions began in January of 2019 after staff heard feedback from the community about the need to “make content even more community oriented.” 
“We need our local paper,” another man said. “You guys are honest and you tell people what they need to know.” 
Morning News’ staff members were excited to see so many faces they know from previous articles and interactions, but there were a lot of new people in attendance as well.
Everyone at the Morning News would like to thank people for coming. That show of support meant more to the team than some might know. All in attendance seemed happy to share in great connections, food and fun.
A special thanks to Kyle Mangum, Michael Magagna, Todd Jansen and Dayton White for grilling - and to Jane and Kyle Mangum who first had this idea.
Other amazing people who helped are the fantastic Morning News’ team – many who worked after-hours to show their gratitude to customers, some of the best carriers around, the aforementioned vendors who helped make this amazing (especially Eagle Rock Jumpers who loaned the tables and chairs), as well as Jared Hopson, Patricia Andersen, and Bob and Peggy Shawver.