North Platte and the surrounding communities host many annual events
Whether you enjoy good, old-fashioned western fun or a celebration of North Platte’s Railroad heritage, you’ll have a good time in Lincoln County. You can find a full listing of all of the upcoming fun in the local area by clicking on our community calendar. The events listed on this page are North Platte area’s signature annual events that you can count on for top-notch entertainment.
Each year hundreds of thousands of Sandhill Cranes migrate through the area, stopping over for about six weeks on their way to their nesting grounds in the north. The migration begins in mid to late February and continues through early April. Sandhill Cranes can be seen (and heard!) in the cornfields between North Platte and Sutherland, from a viewing blind at the Buffalo Bill State Historical Park, from the Golden Spike Tower and on private land and Wildlife Management Areas along the North Platte River. Be sure to stop in at the North Platte Visitors Bureau for a driving map and viewing information.
Country Bluegrass Show
Scheduled for April 28, 29, 30, 2016, Nebraska’s finest Bluegrass festival is held at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds (5015 West Highway 30). For more information visit the Country Bluegrass Show website or contact Courtney Ewald at (308) 530-0452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday April 24, Kids Triathlon; Saturday April 25, Relay & Competitive Division; Sunday April 26, Fitness Division.
Lincoln County Raceway
April through September
On most Saturday nights April through September, you’ll hear the roar of engines as the Lincoln County Raceway brings exciting dirt track racing to North Platte. The Raceway is located on the grounds of the Lincoln County Fair, 5015 W. Rodeo Road.
North Platte’s Honky Tonk BBQ Festival is still seeking a permanent date and location. Currently it varies between May and June, the BBQ Festival attracts enthusiasts from throughout the Midwest. The fun includes non-stop entertainment as well as some of the best BBQ in Nebraska.
Rich in history and social significance, the Miss America Organization is a not-for-profit organization that has maintained a tradition for many decades of empowering
American women to achieve their personal and professional goals, while providing a forum in which to express their opinions, talent and intelligence. Miss Nebraska is crowned in North Platte each year during the first week of June. The 2016 Pageant dates June 8 – 11.
On July 4th, 1882, the world’s greatest showman, Buffalo Bill Cody produced the “Old Glory Blowout” in North Platte. That show would eventually become Cody’s Wild West Show. 2016 will mark the 134th anniversary of the first spectator rodeo. From Country and Rock Concerts to the Buffalo Bill Rodeo, Art competitions and everything in between, there is something for everyone at NEBRASKAland DAYS. NEBRASKAland DAYS 2016 is schedule for June 15-25, 2016, with many exciting changes in the works!
Buffalo Bill Rodeo June 15-18
US Cellular Summer Jam Concert Series June 24-25
In 1991, after 36 years of the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant being held in Burwell, NE, the pageant was moved to Nebraska’s official state celebration, NEBRASKAland DAYS and the Buffalo Bill PRCA Rodeo at North Platte, NE. The Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant that began in 1955 continues to be held annually to select a young lady who has the desire and enthusiasm to serve as a goodwill ambassador for the “Sport of Rodeo” and the State of Nebraska. In 2006 the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association, Inc. expanded their program to include the Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska Pageant. The 2016 Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant will be held June 12 – 15, with the winner being announced at the first performance of the 2016 NEBRASKAland DAYS Buffalo Bill Rodeo on Wednesday, June 15.
The fun isn’t limited to North Platte! All of the communities of Lincoln County proudly present their own local celebrations. For the best fun hometown America has to offer, make plans to explore one of these small towns during their celebrations. The fun starts off July 3 and 4 with the Sutherland 4th of July celebration.
Community Celebrations (cont)
Community Celebrations (cont)
More than 300 cars fill the streets in downtown North Platte the first weekend after Labor Day in September of each year as North Platte’s local car club hosts the annual Show and Shine. The fun starts on September 9, 2016 at 6:30pm at the Holiday Inn Express for the welcoming banquet. Saturday September 10 is the all-day show in downtown North Platte. You won’t want to miss out on the annual drawing for the Mid Plains Community College restored car, held at 2pm on Saturday. A church service at the Holiday Inn Express on Sunday morning rounds out the weekend of activities.
This year “Arts in the Park” celebrates it’s 42st year!! One of Nebraska’s premiere craft shows, this year will be one to remember!
Held annually in September the first Sunday after Labor Day, the 2016 Arts in the Park will be held September 11, from 10am to 4pm in Cody Park.
Rail Fest is an annual celebration of North Platte’s spirit and origins – as railroad and western heritage come together for three fun-filled days of community events & entertainment. The celebration is held in North Platte’s Historic Original Town area in and around Cody Park at the junction of Highways 83 & 30. The highlight of the celebration are the bus tours through the enormous Bailey Yard.
Rail Fest 2016 has been scheduled for September 16-18. Make plans now to join us for an exciting weekend of events!
Thirteen college rodeo teams from the NIRA Great Plains Division, including Mid-Plains Community College, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Hastings College, Black Hills State University, Dickinson State University, Iowa Central Community College, Iowa State University, Mitchell Technical Institute, North Dakota State University, Northeast Iowa Community College, South Dakota State University, and the University of Wisconsin – River Falls plus numerous independent contestants will come to North Platte September 16 and 17 with performances at 7:00pm each night.
Every September, the top 15 Nebraska Cowboys and Cowgirls in the standings of the Nebraska State Rodeo Association come to North Platte to compete in the finals. Held in the prestigious Wild West Arena, home of the annual Buffalo Bill PRCA Rodeo, in the town where modern spectator Rodeo was invented by Buffalo Bill in 1882, these top athletes put on quite a show.
Each October, North Platte’s McKinley Education Center is the home of the Sheldon Museum of Art’s Sheldon Statewide Exhibit. The Sheldon Statewide program is a division of the Sheldon Museum of Art outreach program and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Its mission is to serve Nebraska communities throughout the state by sharing the museum’s outstanding collection of American art. Since its inception in 1987, the program has reached over 275,000 people in 24 Nebraska communities.
Santa’s Workshop has been a North Platte tradition for generations. Now in North Platte’s scenic Cody Park, numerous animated vignettes portray all aspects of the Christmas season, from busy elves toiling away in the workshop to joyous children on Christmas morning. The workshop opens November 28 and runs through December 30 each night at dusk. Frequent special events include Carousel rides and concessions, horse drawn rides, visits from Santa, caroling and foods of the season.
Buffalo Bill’s magnificent Victorian mansion is decorated for the holidays and open to the public the weekend before Christmas Eve each year. The 2015 dates are December 18 – 22, from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. More than twenty trees decorated by the staff of the Buffalo Bill State Historic Park and area non-profit organizations fill every room and public space. In the barn, area 4th graders decorate each stall with Christmas cheer. Outdoors you can enjoy caroling, horse drawn rides, hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts. Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley are even on hand to wish you a Merry Christmas!