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Sweet celebration

Rodeo, Kool-Aid Days to share dates, location at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Hastings

by Ruth Nicolaus
for the Oregon Trail Rodeo

HASTINGS, Neb. — Two annual Hastings, Neb., events will share the same location and same days next week.

The Oregon Trail Rodeo and Kool-Aid Days will be held in Hastings at the Adams County Fairgrounds. Both events run Aug. 20-22.

The rodeo takes place in the evenings of the three days; Kool-Aid days activities encompass the daytimes, pause for the rodeo, and, on Saturday, Aug. 21, continue after the rodeo ends.



It’s a sweet combination, said Marissa Sitzmore, organizer for Kool-Aid Days and president of the board of directors for the World Soft Drink Federation. “I’m excited to see the two events, side by side.”

COMBINING FORCES



Kool-Aid Days and the rodeo are not combining forces, just sharing a location and dates, which both groups think will be beneficial.

“We’ve made a conscious effort to keep the festivals separate, to keep their individuality. Yet we’ll be able to target an audience that may have never seen the other side,” Sitzmore said. “People from Chicago may come to see the World’s Largest Kool-Aid stand, and they may never have seen a horse or a cow, let alone a rodeo.”

The 2021 Kool-Aid Days logo, e-LEMON-ator, reflects the shared location and dates for the Kool-Aid Days and the Oregon Trail Rodeo. The two events will take place Aug. 20-22 at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Hastings, Neb.

Scott Hinrichs, chairman for the Oregon Trail Rodeo, agreed. The shared dates and location “allow a different audience to see another Nebraska tradition: rodeo. Kool-Aid was invented in Hastings, and it’s neat to see two Nebraska customs side by side.”

Kool-Aid Days have traditionally been held in downtown Hastings the second weekend in August. The move to the third weekend and the Adams County Fairgrounds, gives festival attendees more room for events and for parking, Sitzmore said. Some Kool-Aid Days activities will be held at different locations around Hastings; many of them are at the fairgrounds. The Kool-Aid Days trolley will transport attendees for free between all events downtown, at the fairgrounds, Lochland Country Club, and the Hastings Museum.

The rodeo takes place at 7 p.m. on Aug. 20-21 and at 5 p.m. on Aug. 22.

Kool-Aid Days activities run throughout the three days, and include a Kool-Aid Days Grand Parade at 10 a.m. on Aug. 20; the World’s Largest Kool-Aid Stand, featuring 24 flavors (some sugar-free) at the fairgrounds; giant inflatables and indoor games (fairgrounds); the Kwickest Kool-Aid Drinking Contest (fairgrounds) and more.

Fireworks will take place after the Aug. 21 night of rodeo, along with live music by the Blue Collar Band, at the fairgrounds.

For a complete schedule of Kool-Aid Days activities, visit http://www.Kool-AidDays.com.

To purchase rodeo tickets, visit http://www.AdamsCountyFairgrounds.com. Rodeo tickets range in price from $5-$20

For more information on the rodeo, visit the website or call the Adams County Fairgrounds office at (402) 462-3247.

For more information about the Hastings Museum go to https://www.loc8nearme.com/nebraska/hastings/hastings-museum/6340334/.


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