Atkinson Harvest Festival

ATKINSON – The number “68713” may sound like a the last line of a mailing address, but in Atkinson, Nebraska, it’s the name of a new beer that’s giving back to the community.

On Sunday, The city of Atkinson held its first annual Harvest Festival, a celebration of the town and the and businesses that are a part of it.

Along with yard games, a barbecue and live music, attendees will have a chance to try out the new “68713” beer by the Brush Creek Brewing Co., claiming the title of the first “ZIP code beer” in the state.

The brew not only takes inspiration from Nebraska, but all of the ingredients in the drink come from the zip code its named after.

Along with the announcement of the new beer, the Atkinson Community Foundation Fund is co-sponsoring the event.

The money raised by sales of the beer will be donated to the Fund, aiming to reach its $300,000 goal by the end of the year, the fund sets aside money for future projects in the city every year.

Committee chair of the fund, Shannon Olberding, says this event was about more than raIsing money, it was also about bringing the city together and educating people on the effect the endowment will have on Atkinson.

“It’s just bringing the community together, getting our donors here and thanking them for their donations and also just spreading the word about what an endowment is and what the power of it is for out community. This money is going to be here forever and it can be used for the needs for 50 years that we don’t even know what those are yet.”

Olberding says this event was a large boost to the fund and it can look into starting larger projects around Atkinson in the near future.

Past projects created by the fund include the ‘Backpack Project’, providing weekend meals for food insecure families, ‘Girls On The Run’, a program to teach self-confidence to elementary school girls in the area, and the construction of a playground in a nearby park.

“Now that our payout will be larger, we’re going to have to really brainstorm, you know, what that money will be used for each year.”

By the end of the day, over $200,000 was raised; meeting their goal for the year.

While children and families played games and eating the barbecue to the live music, a confetti cannon was shot to announce the meeting the goal.

Olberding says the partnership made during this event between the brewery and the fund should continue, hoping to make this the first of many annual community gatherings.