Fun Things to Do in Rural Nebraska

Posted: July 23, 2010 in TRAVEL / Gatherings
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Fun Things To Do in Rural Nebraska

Every location has its own unique flare. With the major over population of todays world it is virtually impossible to find a community lacking many individual cultures. With each culture comes a unique calendar of events. On these calendars we find a list of many things to do.

Less populated areas may have fewer people but I have located some of the greatest parties in such areas so don’t rule out a places like the middle of Nebraska. If an event is organized well enough to be sustainable, it can stay on the calendar for years to come. More then anything, it is this sustainability that identifies the more exciting events.

Rural Nebraska has to compete with two major areas in the eastern part of the state. If an event can attract more people from the cities then it increases it’s chances to suceed significantly. Currently only 2 events I am aware of have been able to attract people to travel from the city in large numbers and one of them is going through a reorganization. Kearney has hosted one of the largest Cruise Night events in the midwest for 23 years running. (http://www.cruisenitekearney.com) It brings 4 days of great fun to the area and about the only low point I can mention is that it has a lack of vendors. A single person can easily make new friends at numerous locations around the festival. You can mingle at the beer garden or the concert stage to find new friends. Then join them to cruise the strip for awhile. After cruising go check out the pub bands and then end your night (or party through the morning) at some house parties.

Nebraska does a good job of organizing small town festivals. Traditionally they started in anticipation of food crop  harvests. With the growing trend of children going off to college, the celebration tends to be identified more as a home coming for old aquaintances. You can find a fun festival every weekend through the summer by visiting the calendar at (http://www.visitnebraska.gov/component/myplanner/search/events).

From 2001-2006 the state saw it’s largest festival, Comstock, dwindle away with a lack of support. In its prime the festival was magnificent. Three seperate weekends brought top music performers in Rock, Religion and Country to the middle of the state to camp and party with limited interference by police. Unfortunately, not enough Nebraskans bought tickets and the promoters had to take out loans to pay the entertainment dues. The festival folded but recently it has been announced that new investors have scheduled the country fest for 2010 and hope to add the rock fest in 2011.

The area of Grand Island has been struggling. Nearly 33% of the dowtown district is vacant and when festivals are organized, there has been limited support. The state fair has been moved from Lincoln for 2010 in an attempt to revive the area before it is too late. Only time will tell. Until support increases, the areas largest events such as the county fair, Ethnic Festival, Art in the Park and Harvest Days continue to struggle and rely on state funding while failing to make a profit.

My facebook photo and video albums show an inside look as I have the opporunity to attend several of these events.

The fall brings football season and the return of most festivities back to the cities in the east. During the winter the are very few events to choose from and the area practically shuts down with the exception of sports and in door concerts. Like hundreds of my readers, we all have found our way south to live during the winter but enjoy returning for the few fun things to do in rural Nebraska during the warm season.

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