Kearney happens to be located on the main highway of American History. Going through or right by Kearney are: The great Transcontinental Railroad, the Pony Express, the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, and the first Transcontinental Highway in America.
These are all commemorated in one of the most unusual museums in the world. It is actually located in the air space above Interstate 80, two miles east of the Kearney exit! (but note: you must take the Kearney exit to get to it, at least until a new interstate exit is completed, perhaps in 2013.)
This museum is a very modern, interactive museum of the westward movement in America. At the end of your visit, you can look out at the cars zooming underneath you on the interstate and even see what their speed is on radar guns. Figure about an hour or an hour and a half to make this visit. It is not a tourist trap; I think anyone who would enjoy learning about the westward movement would enjoy the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument. whew! It probably also has the longest name of any museum in the country!
3 photos attached.
A beautiful and historic park in the middle of town. Lots of shade trees and grass, picnic areas, tennis courts, baseball field, swimming pool, and a fabulous rock garden created by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the great depression of the 1930's. Thank you President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In May of 2011, the Kearney city library reopened, sortof. They are opening in stages as various portions of the facility are remodeled and/or expanded. What we have seen so far is wonderful. I hope my photos, blurry as some of them are, gives you an idea.
Click the photo to see them all.
Each year on the second Sunday in July one of the top 200 outdoor art shows in America is held in Kearney's Harmon Park. In the picture are some of the fiberglass cranes that were placed around town as part of a community-wide display. Each one was painted by a local artist. The reason for the cranes is that thousands of (live) Sandhill Cranes migrate through this area each spring. The second photos shows an artist at work.
In 2006 the show was scheduled for July 9th, 9 am to 5 pm.
Other types of art on display are bronze sculptures, paintings, jewelry, photography, and so on. This is a juried show, so the quality is very good. Exhibitors come not only from Nebraska but several other states as well. In 2010 there were 60 artists displaying their work.
A concession stand by Faith United Methodist Church provides homemade pies, drinks,
5 photos attached: CLICK THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE IT AND TO SEE THEM ALL!
A brand new (in 2010) museum dedicated to firefighters everywhere, has opened in Kearney, Nebraska. We toured it today with a couple of grandchildren, and everyone enjoyed it and learned from it. A lot of thought and planning has gone into this facility.
Please click the photo to see inside the museum!
On the first Sunday in March, from 4 to 7 pm, attend the International Food and Cultural Festival held at the University of Nebraska Health and Sports Center. Its a great celebration and the food is wonderful. Lots of entertainment for kids and adults as well.
FOOD: We had Sekuwa from Nepal, Kimchi from South Korea, Crepes from France, beef from Africa, sweet ribs from China, and much more.
ENTERTAINMENT: Fashion show from China, piano solo from Russia, dances from Brazil, India, Africa, China, the Bahamas and elsewhere, African fashion show, USA karate demonstration, and much more.
Got a little grey in your hair, like me? Visit the sparkling new (in 2010) Senior Center in south Kearney. You can have lunch there for a $3.50 donation ($5 if under 60 years of age), use exercise equipment, play pool or shuffleboard, maybe a game of cards, and so on.
Every Saturday morning and Wednesday evening in the summertime, Kearney has a busy Farmer's Market where you can buy fresh, home-grown vegetables. Also there often are booths selling homemade bread products, chickens, herbs, and related items.
This is Kearney's newest park, still being developed. It has an observation tower, lakes, playgrounds, sheltered picnic tables and a bandshell for concerts. Sadly, the bandshell was destroyed in a 2007 storm. It has been replaced with a new, sturdier canopy which is shown in other photos attached here. The photo shows people just starting to arrive for a concert by the U.S. Air Force "Heartland of America" concert band on June 12, 2005. The concert included a fireworks display!
On June 10, 2006 they had a concert by the Nebraska Jazz Ensemble, plus fireworks.
Other photos in this group show a children's water park play area.
4 photos attached.
In March or April, UNK hosts the middle school version of the quiz bowl in the student union building on campus.
In early April, the high school version is held.
Students come from 30-some schools in the region to participate. Winners go on to state competition.
What a place. The setting is the most unusual for the middle of the U.S. See my travelogue that includes pictures of the museum. It was a 1-1/2 hour stop that was well worth the time.
Platte River Road travelogue
Oregon Trail travelogue
"MONA" IS THE MUSEUM OF NEBRASKA ART, the designated museum for the primary collection of art by Nebraska artists or art concerning Nebraska subjects.
FOR EXAMPLE, during Kearneys "Cruise Night" festival of classic cars, MONA had a special exhibit of antique pedal cars. There was also a display of fiber art, and of course many paintings and sculptures.
3 photos attached. Click this photo to see more.
Visit Morris Press, which is a major publisher of cookbooks all over the United States. If you visit you can pick out one free cookbook and can purchase others from nearly every state in the union.
CLICK THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE THE SIGN AND TO SEE ANOTHER PICTURE.
USUALLY HELD ON THE 2ND SATURDAY OF FEBRUARY FROM 7 AM TO 7 PM, The Kiwanis Pancake Feed is a Kearney institution. Three Kiwanis clubs combine to put this on. The pancakes and sausage are delicious. Of course you can have coffee, milk, orange juice or water to drink, but in recent years, Barista's has also set up a booth so you can order your favorite lattes, cappucinos, etc. Its a fun day, and Kearneyites know they will see all their friends at the Pancake Feed!
PLEASE CLICK THE PHOTO TO SEE MORE!
In the summertime, watch for information on this summer's "Cruise Nite" activities, which actually extend over several days. In 2006, it was scheduled for July 13 - 16. On Friday is a Show & Shine and BBQ at the Archway Monument from 5 to 8 pm. On Saturday is the big Show & Shine in downtown Kearney (on Central Avenue) from about 10 am to 4 pm. The streets are lined with beautiful cars on both sides for many blocks. At 6 p.m. on Saturday night there is a parade down Central Avenue followed by a party at the drive-in theater!*
5 photos attached.