NORTH PLATTE—The official state celebration of Nebraska has kicked off this past week in North Platte, where it has been for more than 50 years. The original Nebraskaland Days Celebration began in Lincoln in 1965 but has since moved to the home of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo.
Executive Director David Fudge began working with the celebration in 2005 and says in addition to providing the space for the official state celebration of Nebraska, event organizers try to offer affordable events and activities in between the Buffalo Bill Rodeo and the concerts.
“A lot of what we try and do is driven by our goal of providing something for families,” Fudge said.
The 11-day celebration includes countless activities such as the competitive art show, golf, steer wrestling, quilt show, beer gardens and food courts, flapjack feed, Eagle’s Pork Breakfast, antique car display, Carnival Americana, road runs, Family Night, mutton bustin’, cowboy kickball, and much more.
And of course the Buffalo Bill Rodeo through Saturday, the Nebraskaland Days on Parade on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., and the U.S. Cellular Summer Jam Concert Series featuring Jake Owen with the Casey Donahew Band and Whiskey Bent on Friday, June 21 and Kane Brown with Lindsay Ell and Travis Denning on Saturday, June 22.
The Miss Rodeo Nebraska events began this past Sunday and a 2016 Loup City graduate Joeli Walrath was named Miss Rodeo Nebraska on Wednesday night. According to the North Platte Telegraph Walrath, 21, is originally from Ashton and is the daughter of Jamie and Jaci Walrath. Joeli is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is studying animal science, according to the Telegraph.
Brylee Thompson was named Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska 2019.
David Fudge said Nebraskaland Days is the perfect opportunity to make memories with your kids and is proud of the long history and tradition of the annual celebration. Fudge said people from nearly all 50 states and multiple countries visited Nebraskaland Days last year, which Fudges describes as the economic engine of Lincoln County.
In an interview with KCNI/KBBN, Fudge emphasized that many of the Nebraskaland Days events are free or inexpensive for Nebraska families and thanked the businesses, clubs, games and parks, service organizations, and churches involved that make the event possible. He and the board, and the volunteers invite everyone to North Platte during the next week and a half to celebrate Nebraska and says he is thankful to the remarkable number of people who are required to make the attraction possible.
“It’s a big undertaking, it takes a lot of humans to put it on. We’re very blessed with a good volunteer base and very thankful for that,” Fudge said.