14th Annual Country Bluegrass Show

Bluegrass 2014An all-star lineup of Bluegrass greats is heading to North Platte’s Lincoln County Fairgrounds on April 24-26 for Nebraska’s finest Bluegrass festival now in its 14th year. Big All Weekley will emcee the Country Bluegrass Show with artists such as Wilson & Fairchild; Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers; Larry Stephenson; Homeward Bound; One More River; Blue Canyon Boys; Feller & Hill & The Bluegrass Buckaroos; Highplains Tradition; Driven; Stanleytones; and Up on the Hill.

All concerts are indoors at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds beef barn. Bleachers are available, or you’re welcome to bring your own lawn chairs.

Single day tickets are available for $20; single evening tickets are available for $17; tickets for the entire three day festival are available for $50. Tickets are available in North Platte at Mentzer Oil (311 E 7th St), the North Platte Chamber of Commerce (502 S. Dewey) or any NebraskaLand Bank location (121 North Dewey, 1400 South Dewey, 1002 North Jeffers Street).

Lodging is available at sponsoring hotels – Super 8 (308-532-4224); Holiday Inn Express (308-532-9500); Ramada (308-534-3120); Oak Tree Inn (308-535-9900); or there is camping available on the Lincoln County Fairgrounds.

More information can be found on the Country Bluegrass Show Website and Facebook page. For more information contact Donna Mentzer at 308-532-1465 or wwbluegrass@charter.net

Teen DanceNorth Platte’s Recreation Department is partnering with Fur The Love of Paws to host a teen dance on 16th street and North Sycamore Street, near the Dowhower Softball Complex and the North Platte Animal Shelter.

The dance is for middle school and high school students from North Platte and the surrounding communities only. Music Encounters is providing the DJ. Admission is $4.00 per person. Pizza and pop will be sold.

100% of the proceeds will benefit Fur the Love of Paws animal rescue group. So if you love animals, want to join your friends in a really fun event, and want to make new friends, plan to dance the evening away at this Teen Dance!

For more information contact Marilee at (308) 539-7217.

You can find out more about Fur the Love of Paws on their Website or their Facebook page.

Mid Plains United WayJoin in a celebration of locally produced food, wine and art at the Taste of the Plains sponsored by Mid-Plains United Way. The event will be at the spacious Holiday Inn Express Conference Center, 300 Platte Oasis Parkway on May 1st from 5:30-8:00pm.

Local producers who will be featured include Seifer Farms of Sutherland and Feather River Vineyards of North Platte, among many others.

The tickets are available in advance for $25 or can be purchased at the door. For advance tickets, stop by the Mid-Plains United Way office.
Mid-Plains United Way office is 315 North Dewey Ste: 203B- Second floor of the Wells Fargo Bank, or call 308.532.8870.

Proceeds will help fund Mid-Plains United Way agencies benefiting the local community.

If you’re coming to North Platte to enjoy the Festival Season that kicks off on April 24 with the Country Bluegrass Show and continues May 2nd with the Honky Tonk BBQ Festival, or to one of our many attractions, you may notice that traffic is a little congested around the bridges over the South Platte River on Highway 83. Both the north and south bound bridges, on Dewey and Jeffers Streets will be under construction for the foreseeable future. So far, no excessive congestion has occurred, so for the most part, no different arrangements need to be made.

If you are staying in one of the hotels near the I-80 corridor and are interested in going to the Mall area, you can take Halligan Drive east to Newberry, then north to Phillip. Follow Phillip west until you get back into the shopping district. If you are going downtown to locations such as the Art and Gift Gallery, NEBRASKAland DAYS or the North Platte Area Children’s Museum or to the north side of North Platte to the softball fields or Cody Park, continue north on Newberry to 4th Street or 12th Street.
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If you are going to attractions and events in the northwest area of North Platte such as the Buffalo Bill Ranch, Lincoln County Historical Museum, Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center, Country Bluegrass Show or the Honky Tonk BBQ, you might take Highway 83 south to Walker Road, turning west and following it to Buffalo Bill Avenue then on to your destination.

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Remember, North Platte has lots of attractions and amenities, but we still remain a small town. Nothing is really that far away! For questions about getting around, call the Visitors Bureau office at 308-532-4729.

OTGC arbor day inviteThe Sutherland Oregon Trail Golf Course will be celebrating Arbor Day by planting trees and dedicating the improvements to their new driving range. A huge community effort has resulted in a beautiful driving range and gazebo for the comfort and enjoyment of golfers.

The festivities begin at 10am on April 26 with the planting of 26 six-foot Ponderosa Pines to complete the driving range project. Following that, the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at the gazebo at 1pm. The rain-date is Sunday April 27 with the tree planting at 1pm and dedication at 3pm.

The Sutherland Oregon Trail Golf Course is located at 31200 West Tower Road, on the scenic shore of the Sutherland Reservoir. You can find more information on their website: http://www.oregontrailgolfcoursene.org/ or converse with them on their Facebook Page.

Last American HighwayAward-winning author Stew Magnuson will read from his new book, The Last American Highway: A Journey Through Time Down U.S. Route 83: The Dakotas, at North Platte’s A to Z Books on Saturday, April 19 at 1:30pm. A to Z Books is located at 507 N. Jeffers.

Descending 1,885 miles straight down the center of the United States from Westhope, North Dakota, to Brownsville, Texas, is U.S. 83, one of the oldest and longest of the federal highways that hasn’t been replaced by an Interstate.

Magnuson takes readers on a trip down the road and through the history of the Northern Great Plains. The famous and the forgotten are found in stories he discovers in the Dakotas.

Explorers Pierre de la Vérendrye, Lewis & Clark, Jedediah Smith, are all encountered along with Chief Spotted Tail of the Brulé Lakotas, TV sensation Lawrence Welk and rodeo superstar Casey Tibbs. Cold-blooded killers, homesteaders, ballplayers and rail barons from yesteryear meet today’s truckers, oil rig workers and ghost towns inhabitants as Magnuson launches his own Voyage of Discovery in a beat-up 1999 Mazda Protégé.

Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Stew Magnuson is the author of The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder: And Other True Stories from the Nebraska-Pine Ridge Border Towns—Nebraska Center of the Book’s 2009 nonfiction book of the year, ForeWord Magazine’s bronze medal winner for regional nonfiction and finalist for the 2008 Great Plains Book of the Year. He also penned Wounded Knee 1973: Still Bleeding, an account of the controversial 2012 Dakota Conference at Augustana College, in Sioux Falls, S.D., where members of the American Indian Movement squared off against retired FBI agents.

Color Dash Poster 8x11 smaller

Enthusiasm is mounting for North Platte’s May 18 Color Dash. There are currently 157 registered participants, which is nearly unheard of this far in advance of an event. So far there are registrants from Colorado and many areas of Nebraska.

There are several ways to participate in the Color Dash. Individual registrations, of course, but also teams of a minimum of four racers up to 16 can register, each saving $5 off the individual registration price. The website conveniently allows team members to sign up at different times from different locations, so groups don’t have to be gathered together in one place to register. There are also family registrations of up to 6 participants with a graduated fee structure – Families of 3 – $28.33 per person; Families of 4 – $25 per person; Families of 5 – $23 per person; Families of 6 – $21 per person. There is an additional small processing fee added on to each registration.

After this seemingly never-ending winter, what better way to lift your spirits and color your day than by participating in the first-ever North Platte Color Dash. Hosted by the North Platte / Lincoln County Visitors Bureau and sponsored by Great Plains Regional Medical Center, Bill Summers Ford, Twin River Fitness, White Tail Screen Print, Eagle Radio and Hoover Chiropractic, the race will both start and end at the North Platte Community College south campus.

April showers might bring May flowers, but the Color Dash will be bringing a storm of color to runners along the route which is west on State Farm, north on Echo, east on Walker and south on Willow back to the South Campus. The race will start at 2:00pm, and the final Color Blast will be at 3:30p.m. After a long, gray, dull-colored winter, the Color Dash will bring a burst of colors to get your fitness season off to an energized start. Dashers can register online at http://thecolordash5k.com.

The Color Dash is a celebration of healthy living, happiness, and individuality, and brings the community together in the World’s Brightest 5K. The Color Dash is a non-competitive 5k run/walk. At the beginning of the course runners begin fresh and clean like the first Nebraska snow and at each Kilometer they get annihilated with a colorful shower of powder.

The color is food-grade cornstarch and food-grade coloring. According to Ginger Ady, “The “certified” color throwers being trained for the Color Dash will work hard to make it so our precious “Color Dashers” get as much or as little color on them as they like.” Some “Color Dashers” opt to wear glasses or goggles for their eyes and use a bandana or dust mask for their mouths. Dashers are encouraged to wear as much white as possible and should know that it might take a couple of showers to return to their normal skin tones. For those wanting to keep their colorful masterpieces as a permanent souvenir, spraying their clothing with vinegar and ironing before washing should make it permanent.

Proceeds of the Color Dash will go to the North Platte Area Sports Commission, an organization that is committed to bringing more fun, competitive and non-competitive sporting events to the North Platte area.

Buffalo Bill RanchWe were all heartbroken last fall when the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission closed the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park early and announced a later spring opening date. We recently received fantastic news! The scheduled repair work being done at the Ranch was completed early and the Ranch will be opening early!

The campground, located in a scenic and secluded area along the North Platte River will open on April 18. The House and Barn will be open for visitation on April 21.

North Platte is justifiably proud of its Buffalo Bill history. Col. Wm. F. Cody was stationed nearby at Fort McPherson as an Army scout, liked the area so much that when he retired from the service he established his ranch here. North Platte’s founding fathers asked him to organize an Independence Day celebration in 1882 which he named the “Old Glory Blowout”. He found that it was so popular and he enjoyed it so much that he soon developed his Wild West Show right here in North Platte and used Scouts Rest Ranch as a refuge from the rigors of travel.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has preserved and restored the house, barn, log cabin and about 250 acres of the once nearly 4,000 acre ranch.

Lake to Lake RelayWhat could be better than a beautiful spring morning partnering with your friends in a scenic run along the NPPD canal from the Sutherland Oregon Trail Golf Course to the Lakehouse Bar and Grill along North Platte’s Lake Maloney. While we’re not guaranteeing the balmy spring morning, we can assure you that you will have fun and get in shape at the same time! Teams are encouraged to choose team names and dress in costume.

More than twenty-two miles of scenic west central Nebraska. The route will take you along the canal from the Sutherland Reservoir to Lake Maloney.

Sponsored by North Platte’s Great Plains Health Care Foundation, the Lake to Lake Relay is part of the Platte River Fitness Series. The Lake to Lake Relay will be held on Saturday, May 31. Check in is 6:30 to 7:45 a.m. Relay start time is 8:00 a.m. You can register as two, three or four person teams.

  • Leg 1 – 3 miles – Oregon Trail Golf Course to Bubble Road
  • Leg 2 – 3.4 miles – Bubble Road to South Lamont Road
  • Leg 3 – 2.4 miles – South Lamont Road to Hershey Dickens Road
  • Leg 4 – 2.6 miles – Hershey Dickens Road to Trinity Road
  • Leg 5 – 2. miles – Trinity Road to Range Road
  • Leg 6 – 3.6 miles – Range Road to Wagon Trail Road
  • Leg 7 – 2.5 miles – Wagon Trail Road to Homestead Road
  • Leg 8 – 1.6 miles – Homestead Road to the Lakehouse

The relay race showcases much of our region’s natural beauty of wild prairie grass, sandhills and canyons. Watch for wildlife along the route and waterfowl in the canal. The route itself is dirt trails and gravel roads. In the case of inclement weather, be prepared for anything other than ideal conditions, including mud.

At the end of the race, join your fellow racers for a post-race celebration at the Lakehouse Bar and Grill. Limited food and beverages will be provided, so be sure to bring cash for additional purchases.

More information can be found at the North Platte Recreation Complex, 1300 McDonald Road, 308-532-6772, on the Great Plains Healthcare Foundation Website, the Platte River Fitness Series website or the PRFS Facebook page.

Happy-Easter-BunnyEaster is only a week, and the week is filled with activities for the little ones.

The Easter Bunny will be at the North Platte Area Children’s Museum, 314 N. Jeffers, on April 16, beginning at 10 a.m. Come take pictures, listen to a story, and play games with the Easter Bunny himself!

Also on the 16th, the North Platte Rec Center, 1300 S. McDonald, is hosting an Easter Egg hunt for preschoolers at 1pm.

On Saturday April 19, the Sutherland Anchor Club is hosting an Easter Egg hunt beginning at 10am at the school, 401 Walnut. This hunt is over within MINUTES, so be sure to be on time and be ready to hunt!

At 2pm on the 19th, NebraskaLand National Bank, the VFW and the Ladies Auxiliary will host the 55th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Cody Park. The search for prizes and decorated eggs will begin at 2 p.m. Children up to ten years old are invited to join us and celebrate Easter with a one of a kind Easter Egg Hunt. The park will be divided into six areas with special needs children on the tennis courts.

For more information, please contact event chairperson, Carrie Griesfeller at 308-539-8911.