Schlichtemeier named Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2017

MRN 2017Laramie Schlichtemeier is Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2017.

The Ogallala woman was crowned Wednesday night during the first performance of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte.

Following four days of competition, Schlichtemeier won the categories of horsemanship, speech, personality, photogenics and congeniality.

Carly Woerman, of North Bend, won the appearance and written test categories and earned the title of first-runner up. She will fulfill the duties of queen if, at any point, Schlichtemeier is unable to do so.

A Rising Star award was also given this year. It went to Leanna Gubbels, of Laurel.

Schlichtemeier’s prizes include thousands of dollars in scholarships (including a two-year, renewable full tuition scholarship to Mid-Plains Community College), a tiara, a saddle, a buckle, chaps, tack and jewelry, among many other items.

She will remain a lady-in-waiting until January. That will give Emily Taylor, Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2016, time to compete at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant at the end of this year.

Schlichtemeier’s job until then will be to prepare for her reign and fill in at rodeos, parades and other events Taylor is unable to attend.

Schlichtemeier attends Chadron State College. She plans to graduate in December with a degree in business administration and an emphasis in agri-business.

“My career goal is to have a positive impact on farmers, ranchers and the people who have chosen one of the most important career fields in the world,” said Schlichtemeier. “I am leaning toward pursuing a position as an agricultural loan officer in a financial institution. In that role, I feel I can help expand and further develop a dynamic and crucial industry for future generations.”

Schlichtemeier loves anything that has to do with horses, hunting, fishing and Nebraska attractions and also enjoys volunteering for community service projects. Her parents are Jeff and Shari Schlichtemeier.

Medicine ManA longstanding NEBRASKAland DAYS event returns to the lineup for the 2016 version of the festival. The Frontier Revue will run Sunday, June 19th at 2:30 PM, then evening performances on June 20th and 21st at 7:30. All performances will be at North Platte Community College.

“This is one of our hertiage events”, said NLD Executive Director David Fudge. “We want to ensure that its place in our Celebration is secure.”

Using music written by the late Dr. James Thayer from Sidney, the Revue tells the story of life in our State as it was being settled.

Longtime Director Arleen Petersen returns with a cast that locals will be familiar with. Rehersals start on Monday, June 6th at 5 pm.

Ticket prices to the show have been reduced for our 2016 performances. They are available at or at the NEBRASKAland DAYS office. They can also be purchased at the door.

Patrons of the Pork Breakfast and the Golden Games will also be able to see a portion of the show at those events. A small cast will perform a shortned set of Dr. Thayers music. “We want to make sure the Thayer legacy is preserved for future generations,” said Fudge.

15174_3734_NLD15S (2)Look around the Wild West Arena in North Platte, and chances are, you’ll see something that has been built by Larry Piester.

The Whitman, Neb. man was the recipient of the 2015 Trail Boss Award, given to a volunteer with the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte who exemplifies volunteer work, going above and beyond the call of duty to support the rodeo.

Piester and his wife Jean moved to North Platte in 1972, and he began his business, Piester Construction. Soon he was volunteering his time and talents, building stages, easels, and other items for various NebraskalandDays events. In 1984, he was asked to be on the NebraskalandDays board, where he served for six years, and then from 1990 through 2005, he served on the Buffalo Bill Rodeo board.

Piester helped build or remodel a variety of structures on the grounds: the dance pavilion, the crow’s nest, the chutes, the Jaycee’s beer stand, and the rodeo office.

As a NebraskalandDays director, one of his duties was to help coordinate the big entertainment shows. He set stages and, years ago, took the bales that had been mowed and baled from the field around the arena, set them in the arena on planks, to be used for seating.

Piester loved meeting some of the celebrities, including the Monkeys and country music stars like Johnny Cash, Roy Clark, Randy Travis, and Lee Greenwood.

The biggest celebrity he met while volunteering for NebraskalandDays, however, was not an entertainer. It was President Reagan, when he visited North Platte in August of 1987 and again in 1990. When he came in 1987, Piester was in charge of the arena and worked with the Secret Service. Because President Reagan had just had surgery on his nose, the roof of the crow’s nest had to be extended to provide more shade so his nose wasn’t in the sun. “It was quite an experience,” Piester said.

He had no idea it was coming when he was given the Trail Boss Award at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo last year. His daughters, Mitzi and Jodi, knew it, and got the entire family together in North Platte under the pretense of celebrating a birthday and going to the rodeo for old time’s sake. “It was a surprise,” Piester said. “Even my wife didn’t know it.”

Volunteering for your community is something that is no big surprise to Larry and Jean. “It’s just something you do, and you don’t give it a second thought.

“When you live in a community, and you take out of that community, you put back into the community. It’s not a one way street. We had a lot of fun, and we enjoyed it, and we were tickled to have the experience.”

Piester retired from the construction industry five years ago and now lives thirty miles north of Whitman, on the ranch where his grandparents homesteaded in 1907. He and Jean get back to the Buffalo Bill Rodeo occasionally.

This year’s Trail Boss Award will be given out during the June 18 performance of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo. This year’s rodeo is June 15-18. Tickets range in price from $7 to $20 and can be purchased online at, at the NebraskalandDays office at 2801 Charlie Evans Drive (at the Wild West Arena), and at the gate. For more information, visit the website or call 308.532.7939.

Celebrate Kids

Join us for Celebrate Kids, a free concert for children and families with music by Rascal’s Entertainment on Friday, April 15th from 6:30-8:30pm at Mid-Plains Community College Auditorium, 601 W. State Farm Rd. Celebrate Kids is an annual event to recognize the value in celebrating our children through healthy family interactions!

Celebrate Kids is an event of the Lincoln County Child Abuse Prevention Council with the support of community agencies, businesses and citizens!

Visit our website to learn more, or contact us through Facebook Messenger or email

Celebrate Hope

The Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Center is hosting an event, Celebrate Hope, to raise funds to repair the exterior of the house we utilize. Our beautiful house provides a supportive, child-focused place to create a sense of safety and security for children while allegations of child abuse are investigated. However, the exterior of our 100 year old Victorian house is in need of repair in order to keep the services we provide at our highest level. The donations and grants that support Bridge of Hope cannot be used for the maintenance of the facility.

Celebrate Hope is a dinner and entertainment event. Along with your drinks and dinner, you will hear from Jenna Quinn and how she has thrived beyond a childhood of abuse. Jenna’s story reminds us that there is hope after a child experiences abuse. This hope is what encourages Bridge of Hope to continue serving the children in West Central Nebraska since 2007. Because of this hope, the second half of our evening will be a celebration with late-night comedy regular, Andrew Norelli.

Seats are $45
Gold, Silver and Bronze Sponsorship Levels Available.

Tourism Challenge Card Front
The North Platte / Lincoln County Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) has announced the Tourism Challenge!

Participation in the challenge is open to any frontline employee – those with direct contact with the public – of a North Platte area business. 24 area attractions are offering free admission for Challenge participants and a friend. The Challenge consists of a card listing 24 area attractions. Participants visit each attraction and receive a stamp in the box corresponding to the attractions listed on the back of the card. All of the participating attractions are offering free admission for the participant and one guest. The Challenge will run from April 15 through June 15. At the end of the Challenge, TAC will conduct three drawings, each for a $100 prepaid credit card from all of the participant cards completing 100% of the attraction visits.

Volunteers from the Tourism Advisory Council will be delivering packets of Challenge cards and guidelines to area businesses over the next week or so. Employers are asked to encourage their frontline staff to participate.

Frontline employees will be more enthusiastic and do a better job of selling your attraction and giving directions to get there if they have actually experienced it for themselves. TAC created this program to help familiarize them with what’s available in their own home town in a fun and challenging way. By familiarizing more of our frontline employees with all of the wonderful attractions in North Platte, we can have a significant impact on the economy as they encourage visitors to spend more time and money in our community.

For more information about the Challenge, contact Tourism Advisory Council president Jennifer Priest at 308-532-4224.

Spring 2016
The Sandhills Symphony will be presenting our spring concert on Sunday March 13th. Our concert is entitled “400 Years: Shakespeare to Mickey Mouse”. Since this is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, we will be playing some music associated with his works. We will also ask the audience to try to identify some themes that come from classical pieces, but are well-known through other ways–such as cartoons, movies, advertisements, etc. The concert will also feature three guest dramatists, which will be preforming short soliloquies from famous Shakespearean plays. This is a free concert that will be held at the North Platte High School Performing Arts Center, 1220 West 2nd Street, North Platte, NE. on Sunday March 13th at 3:00pm (Central Time).

roller derby

Make plans to cheer on North Platte’s Heartland Hellcats as they take on the Tri-Cities’ Roller Vixens in exciting Roller Derby action this coming Saturday at the D & N Event Center. Advance tickets $10/adults, $5/under 12. Tickets and info at

St Patricks Day Celebration
North Platte Noon Rotary is hosting a St Patty’s Celebration. The Flat Rock Irregulars will entertain us, the Jaycee’s will host Casino Night and there will be food, drink, wine and whiskey tastings. The Dubliner package includes dinner and drink for $25. The Blarney Stone package includes dinner, drink and wine & whiskey tasting for $40. RSVP to if you’d like to attend.

Hope to see you at Harbor Lights March 17th

ReynardThis traveling exhibit will be on display at North Platte’s Prairie Art Center from March 1 through March 30, 2016. The Prairie Art Center is open from 11am to 4pm Tuesday through Saturday.

Grant Tyson Reynard was born October 20, 1887 in Grand Island, Nebraska. As a young boy, he worked in his father’s music store. He became a skilled pianist and sang solos at many church and town functions.

In 1906, Grant attended the Art Institute of Chicago, working days at Marshall Field and studying at the Institute at night. He returned to Grand Island the following year, where he worked in his father’s music store and as a pianist in dance halls through 1908. After rebuilding his savings, he returned to the Art Institute in 1909 to complete his education.

Reynard moved to Leonia, New Jersey in 1914 to become a free-lance illustrator, attending the Harvey Dunn School of Illustration. It was here that he met and became lifelong friends with Dunn, Charles H. Chapman, Frank Street, John Steuart Curry, and Harry Wickey – all prominent artists.

Grant became Art Editor for Redbook Magazine in Chicago in 1915. He continued creating illustrations for Redbook until 1924. Between 1924 and 1929, he was active as an illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post, Country Gentleman, Ladies’ Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Heart’s International Magazine, Collier’s, McCall’s, Woman’s Home Companion, Liberty, and Scribner’s Magazine.

In 1928 Grant spent his first of eight summers at the MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, New Hampshire. It was here that he met Willa Cather. On viewing his paintings, Cather gave him some advice he never forgot. She told Reynard that, in her early career as an author in New York, she had written stories based on imagination. However, her greatest success was not achieved until she returned in retrospect to the scenes of her Nebraska childhood in My Antonia. Reynard got the point. For the balance of that summer, he wrote and illustrated incidents from his own background. At the urging of friends, he submitted some of these illustrated stories to Scribner’s where they were selected for publication.

Reynard had 13 of his articles published from 1927 to 1972 in magazines such as American Artists, Scribner’s Magazine, and The Saturday Evening Post. In 1941 Reynard wrote, illustrated, and published a book of poetry entitled Rattling Home for Christmas. He also became active in creating war propaganda materials that same year for “Artists for Victory” and continued to create images for the group until the end of World War II. After the war, Reynard created complete illustrations and articles for the Ford Motor Company and West Kentucky Coal Company. In 1948 he undertook 33 illustrations for Theodore Dreiser’s book, An American Tragedy.

In the mid to late 1950s, his focus began to shift from illustration to a greater concentration on his own creative work. He traveled extensively across the country to lecture and teach. Reynard returned to Nebraska almost every summer to conduct a series of lectures and art classes in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Kearney, and North Platte before heading off to Colorado and the mountains. Today, his work is included in the collections of the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; and Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska. Grant Reynard died in Leonia, New Jersey in 1968.