Sidney Gold Rush Days celebrates town’s roots, heritage

SIDNEY, NE — Sidney jumped back to the 1870s this weekend to commemorate its heritage.

Gold Rush Days is filled with authentic 1800s activities and demonstrations, along with musical performances. Frontiersmen and women offer the community a chance to pan for gold, blacksmith and even try their hand in sharp shooting. 

Gold Rush Days Committee President Ken Geu says there’s one reason in particular he continues to come back year after year. 

 “Because the kids. The kids love it,” Geu said. “Their eyes light up when I hand out the flyers at the cruising night. The kids say, ‘Oh wow, it’s next weekend!' They’re just so excited to come out. It’s got to be for the kids.” 

Organizers made the choice to cancel Gold Rush Days in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many missed the event. 

Dion Chaon, who has portrayed the role of Buffalo Bill for 17 years, was no exception.

“You know, the thing I miss the most is the people,” Chaon said. “Teaching the history of the Old West, Cody and his Buffalo Bill and Wild West Show. You know, teaching that to the people.” 

The community's love for Gold Rush Days showed this year as over 500 people came and went from festivities throughout the weekend. 

Chaon encourages this same support in the future.

“It’s a good place to come,” Chaon said. “It’s a great time for the whole family and I hope that people continue to come out.”