Several events to attend at State Parks this summer
LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska state parks are full of activities for all ages throughout the summer. A $20 annual park entry permit is a passport to recreation, history, education, and fun in state parks. A permit is required for all state park areas.
While there are many events this summer, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission suggests the following:
• Great Park Pursuit, May 1-Sept. 6, Sites Across the State – Get outdoors and enjoy parks all across the state. Participants collect nature-based impressions from posts at as many as 15 parks. Their chance of winning prizes increases as they collect more impressions. The goal is to encourage families to get outdoors by spending more time at parks.
• Rock Creek Trail Days, June 5-6, Rock Creek Station State Historical Park – Demonstrations depicting life on the 19th century frontier and former Pony Express station will be on display at this annual event near Fairbury. Frontier survival skills will be portrayed, as well as re-enactments of the “Wild Bill” Hickok-David McCanles shooting, frontier poetry and a buffalo stew cookout.
• Carp-O-Rama, June 26, Pawnee SRA – Bring the children out to the lake just west of Lincoln, fish for carp in an area of the lake that was pre-baited and enjoy a fresh fish lunch. Experts and biologists will be on hand to lend assistance. Participants will learn techniques for catching carp and watch a demonstration on cleaning and preparing them.
• Fort Robinson Fourth of July, July 4, Fort Robinson State Park (SP) – Watch the parade in nearby Crawford in the morning, then come back to Fort Robinson to enjoy an outdoor barbeque or a buffet at the restaurant. Nebraskans love to celebrate the Fourth at state parks, so plan ahead and spend a weekend or longer camping, hiking, fishing, or enjoying the museum.
• Fur Trade Days, July 9-11, Chadron SP – Chadron celebrates its western heritage in this annual festival. Events include barbeque cook-off, costume contest, flea market, carnival, art shows, parade, music, a Fur Trade Days Raft Regatta, muzzleloader shoot, Queen of Fur Trade Days contest, World Famous Buffalo Chip Throw, and a buck skinner camp. Some activities take place in Chadron.
• Kites and Castles, July 31, Lake McConaughy SRA – This is the 21st year of the annual sand castle building/sand sculpting contest and kite flying event. The fantastic family event takes place on the white sands of Martin Bay on the north shore near the dam. The day ends with a barbecue and concert.
• Nebraska Star Party, Aug. 8-13, Merritt Reservoir SRA – You do not have to be an astronomer – or even own a telescope – to join the party. Come to this Sandhills state recreation area for a light pollution-free gaze at the summer night sky. Enjoy camping, fishing, boating, and swimming during the day and the annual Nebraska Star Party at night.
• Living History Events, All Summer, State Historical Parks – Take a step back in time to the early days of Nebraska and see volunteers portray life on the prairie. Visitors will be educated and entertained at these events held in various state historical parks, ranging from military forts to a working ranch in the Sandhills.
For more information on Nebraska’s State Parks, visit the Nebraska Game and Parks website at http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us.