6 January Events to Hit

By Krystal Webster

Start 2019 off right with these six Kearney events. Check our event calendar for more!

#1 First Day Hike
Hit the trail for a 500 to 600-yard hike at Fort Kearny State Recreation Area. Meet at the trailhead and come prepared with winter appropriate clothing and items. Bring your four-legged friend along (must remain on a six-foot maximum leash).
Make sure to stick around for some hot chocolate!

Tuesday, January 1
Fort Kearny State Recreation Area

#2 The Blacklist Season 6 Premiere Party
Celebrate with us as we kick-off season 6 of The Blacklist with a FREE special double episode at The World Theatre. Tickets are required for entry and can be ordered online at theworldtheatre.org.

Cocktail and hor d’oeuvres from 6:00pm-7:00pm with the screening at 7:30pm, followed by a talkback with The Blacklist creator and Kearney-native Jon Bokenkamp.

Thursday, January 3
The World Theatre

#3 Home & Builder Show
This show has products for every aspect of the home building process including outdoor landscaping. This is a wonderful display of the latest products in the industry. No matter what your home budget is, there is something for the basic spec home to the most custom project you are working on. Admission is $5.

January 11-13
Friday: 1:00pm-7:00pm  Saturday: 10:00am-7:00pm  Sunday: 11:00am-5:00pm
Buffalo County Fairgrounds

#4 Tri-City Storm Hockey
The Kearney community is the proud home of Storm Hockey, a Tier I junior ice hockey team in the USHL. January brings in three weekends of home games to the Viaero Center, facing off against the Waterloo Blackhawks, the Muskegon Lumberjacks and the Youngstown Phantoms.

$17 for standard seating for adults, $10 for children 12 and under, children 3 and under are free.

vs. Blackhawks: January 11 & 12 at 7:05pm
vs. Lumberjacks: January 18 & 19 at 7:05pm
vs. Phantoms: January 25 at 7:05pm
Viaero Center

#5 RV & Boat Show
This show brings in some of the best family vacation products known to man: RV’s and Boats. Three full days of the best variety in the industry, including fishing seminars, golf instruction, camping, kayaking and boating displays.

January 25-27
Friday: 12:00pm-8:00pm  Saturday: 10:00am-8:00pm  Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Buffalo County Fairgrounds

#6 Crane River Theater’s 10th Birthday Bash
Let’s Party! The evening will feature a sneak peek into the season ahead, a look back at shows of the past, hors d’oeuvres, cake and a complimentary champagne toast. They will also be honoring an outstanding individual, business and organization with the annual Taking Flight Awards.

If you’ve ever attended a Crane River Theater production, come share your memories and find out what’s in store for the year to come! Tickets at cranerivertheater.org.

Thursday, January 31
The World Theatre



Painting the Blue Line at NSAA State Cross Country

By Brady Bonsall
UNK Track & Field/Cross Country Head Coach

Every fall, as I am painting the long blue line at the Kearney Country Club, I can’t help but remember my first state cross country meet in 1989. At the base of the hill just east of the 15th tee box, I was hanging on for dear life in third place. By the time we reached the top of that hill, somehow I was in the lead and there was only one kilometer to go. Winning that race as a junior in my first year running cross country was pivotal in determining the trajectory of my life.

NSAA State Cross Country

Although the course was changed in the fall of 1991 to create a more spectator-friendly finish, and the athletes now run down the 15th fairway much earlier in the race, most of the blue line that I paint is the same line the Lyle Clausen painted thirty years ago.

This will be my twelfth year serving as one of the army of volunteers for an event that annually brings competitors from around the entire state on a Friday in late October. The coordination of efforts, including the contributions of many who have been part of this event much longer than me, highlights a major strength of our community as we are big enough to host an event like this but small enough to have so many community members involved, including a great number of student-athletes and athletic training students from UNK.

NSAA State Cross Country

A few times, our ability to complete the set-up process has been in doubt. One time, setting up the fence involved digging through several inches of snow with our hands at every corner to find the blue line. Another time, it was cold and raining all day with about a 30-40 mph wind. That was the day I forgot to use the parking brake on my gator, the wind pushed the gator down a hill, and it came a few feet from ending up in the lake. I was working solo that day, though, so nobody knows about that one! Amazingly, the weather for race day has usually been manageable. Our hope is for the perfect day with the temperature in the 50s, cloudy, and no wind.

As always, I look forward to getting away from my office, painting the long blue line, putting up the fence and signs, and welcoming the state of Nebraska to the city of Kearney!

7 Events Not To Miss In October

By Krystal Webster

University of Nebraska at Kearney Cope Stadium

#1 Loper Athletics
The University of Nebraska at Kearney Athletics are in full swing. Football, volleyball, soccer and women’s golf are center stage in October, creating an atmosphere for all ages. Stop by Cunningham’s on the Lake for Loper Luncheon on Tuesdays and listen to your favorite coaches while you enjoy special meal pricing! Click here for a full schedule of Loper Athletics.

#2 OktoberFest
Beer. Food. Fun. It’s the 5th Annual OktoberFest at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds on Saturday, October 6th. Sample and learn about a variety of Nebraska craft beer styles while enjoying games and awesome food. Featuring a traditional keg tapping with more beer and more fun, this is an event you don’t want to miss! Tickets on sale now!

#3 Threads Across Nebraska
Whether you’re a pro at quilting or just getting started, this event is built for all levels of skill. The Nebraska State Quilt Guild presents the 14th Annual Threads Across Nebraska at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds on October 12 & 13. Vendors will have a variety of products such as fabrics, patterns, books, antique quilts, sewing accessories and much more! 15% of profits will be donated to the Friends of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

Threads Across Nebraska

#4 Kearney Trail Run
Enjoy a brisk fall morning with a run through Meadowlark Hills Golf Course on Saturday, October 13 at the Kearney Trail Run. Almost 5k = $15, Almost 10k = $20, Almost 1 Mile Kids Run (ages 8 -14) = $10.

#5 Trick-or-Treat on the Bricks
Bring the kiddos in the costumes to Downtown “On The Bricks” on Thursday, October 25 for Trick-or-Treat on the Bricks. Looks out for the teal pumpkins – those are the places with allergy friendly treats!

Trick-or-Treat on the Bricks

#6 Fall Festival Craft Show
With over 250 booths, the Fall Festival Craft Show is the place to be for your holiday shopping! Did we mention admission is FREE?! Located at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds on October 27, mark it on your calendar!

#7 Rowe Adventures: Owl Prowl
On October 27, travel to the dark side of Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary and meet the amazing creatures that make their living at night with Rowe Adventures: Owl Prowl. A family-friend program opportunity to learn more about the fascination lives of owls and other animals that thrive at night.
Fee is $5 person or $10 per family. No reservations are necessary!

For more October happenings, visit our event calendar.

Kearney Fun Under $10

By Krystal Webster

Catch a Flick
Whether it’s a matinee or opening weekend, Kearney has the latest releases with some classics thrown in. Kearney Cinema 8 is just like the name suggests – eight screens under one roof. Tickets are $9 for adults, $7 for children and seniors. If you’re an afternoon movie-goer, you can get in for just $7. The Hilltop Cinema, located in the mall with $8 tickets for adults, and $7 for children and seniors.

The World Theatre located “On The Bricks” in Downtown Kearney is a one-of-a-kind experience. A restored, historic theatre that opened its doors in 1927 as a vaudeville house, is the perfect “date night” you’ve been looking for. Showing all sorts of genres, from the indies to blockbusters, enjoy a brewski from the concession stand and sit-back and enjoy! $5 will get you in the door.

Get Cultured
Experience Nebraska art by Nebraska artists, completely free of charge. The Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) is the home of the official art of collection of the state of Nebraska. Visit the gift shop, spend some time in the Outdoor Sculpture Garden or just take in the historic building itself.

The G.W. Frank Museum of History and Culture, also free of charge, preserves America’s history as one of the first homes wired for electricity on the Great Plains. It was also used as living quarters for the Nebraska State Tuberculosis Hospital staff.

Designed to provide a place to safeguard and preserve Nebraska’s proud firefighting heritage and to educate individuals on fire prevention, the Nebraska Firefighters Museum and Education Center is a place that any age can enjoy. Adults are $6, seniors $4, ages 6-17 $3, and kids five and under are completely FREE.

When the kids get restless, which is basically all the time, take them out the Kearney Area Children’s Museum where they get to touch, push, pull, build and play! With over 20 interactive exhibits, the museums covers a wide variety of interests that include art, science, fire station and agriculture. Children 1-13 years are $8, adults are $7, and senior citizens are $6.

Get Out and Get Going
Our hike/bike trail is definitely something to brag about. And it’s available to you, every day, completely FREE of charge! Take advantage of the 22+ mile network and go explore! Who said exercising had to be boring?

The Kearney Water Trail is a favorite destination among the locals and visitors. Don’t underestimate the power of surrounding yourself in nature. Bring your own kayak, or call ahead and rent one from Kearney PaddleSports.

Spend an afternoon in one of our parks, and you’ll understand what the buzz is all about. Take a stroll or just sit down with a good book, the park is YOUR place to be in your own zone.

Hey Locals: We Need Your Help!


By Krystal Webster

So you live, work and play in the Kearney area? Why should you care about its tourism? Or even tourism in Nebraska? You may not realize how much our visitors to Nebraska impact local businesses and the economy. By the way – it’s a lot!

Source: The U.S. Travel Association Impact of Travel and State Economies 2014.


Tourism is Nebraska’s third largest revenue source. It supports existing companies and stimulates new business development. Tourism is also a source of immediate revenue to Nebraska’s communities, rural and urban.

As the Kearney Visitors Bureau, it’s our job to encourage groups to host meetings and conferences in our community, promote our local attractions, events and hospitality establishments to potential visitors. Kearney is a growing and thriving place – thanks to our locals who live and work here, and to our visitors who enjoy all the things we have to offer.

So how do you – the local – factor in all of this?

We need your help to show others just how great our community is! Whether that’s writing a review online for a restaurant or attraction you visited, sending us community event info to post on our calendar, or even posting photos and using #visitkearney and #kearneynebraska on your social media accounts. We want to see Kearney from your perspective and share it as much as possible!

Check out our social media channels to see what we’ve been up to. Feel free to share, comment or “Like” anything you see!

Facebook: facebook.com/visitkearney  

Twitter: twitter.com/visitkearney

Instagram: instagram.com/visitkearney

Pinterest: pinterest.com/visitkearney

YouTube: youtube.com