Plans are well underway for Gothenburg's 2019 Harvest Festival Sept. 19-22. We've got some new events and some old favorites that we hope everyone will get involved in. The theme, All-American Harvest Festival, pays tribute to the city's recent All-America City Award.
Of course we'll have the big parade on Saturday morning, Sept. 21. It's one of the favorite events of the celebration, usually bringing 75 or so entries and thousands of spectators. An honor bestowed every year is the naming of the parade's grand marshal. This position is usually decided through nominations that are narrowed down and selected by the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce board of directors. But we need your help.
What is a grand marshal? It's an honored leader chosen for special recognition to lead a ceremony. In this case, it's an individual or group highlighted at the beginning of the Harvest Festival parade. The grand marshal usually garners some pre-parade publicity and gets a special ride arranged by the Chamber. That's the extent of the responsibilities unless the grand marshal wants to do more.
The grand marshal could be a city leader, a noted volunteer, a group of people who have gone above and beyond or a person or group who fits the theme. There really are not set parameters. It can be anyone.
Please help us select this year's grand marshal by making a nomination. It's easy and the person you nominate doesn't even have to know it was you who put them in the spotlight. Call the Chamber at 537-3505, click HERE to email the Chamber, send a note to 1001 Lake Ave. or stop in the office.
We want the grand marshal to be someone honored and respected by the community, so please submit your ideas. Nominations will be accepted until Aug. 10 and the 2019 Harvest Festival parade grand marshal will be announced before the end of August.
Thanks for you help and be sure to get out there and participate! A full schedule of events is coming soon!
A casual night out tasting Nebraska wines, beers and whiskey with delicious food and a fun program on the side. What's not to like?
The Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee will host its 15th annual Beef, Wine & More from 6-9 pm on Saturday, Aug. 10 at the NSG Conference Center. The event raises funds for an AFA scholarship that our local committee awards to a graduating senior planning to pursue a degree in an ag-related field. The committee has been giving this scholarship since 1984. Beef & Wine became a way to fund it 20 years later.
The 2019 event will be a little different than in years past, so you won't be able to use the excuse that you've "been there, done that."
Beef & Wine used to be a dress-up affair where you might have been expected to sniff and swirl your wine before gulping it down. Adding beer and whiskey to the tasting options has encouraged us to become a whole lot more laid back. Come as you are. We won't judge.
You're still going to get wine poured by Nebraska vendors, including one winery visiting Gothenburg for the first time. Niobrara Valley Vineyard from Nenzel joins 3 Brothers and Mac's Creek this year. Mac's Creek has also added a brewery to their lovely place north of Lexington, so they'll be bringing a couple of different beers to sample. Other breweries will be Pals from North Platte and Kinkaider from Broken Bow. And then there's the ever-popular Lazy RW Distillery folks with a new product you don't want to miss.
We're also serving Nebraska beef and pork again with lots of sides, but in a more casual "meat and mingle" style. It won't be a sit-down, banquet meal, but if you don't get full it will be your own fault.
Committee members are collecting a variety of auction prizes that our resident entertainer/auctioneer Wendell Brott will encourage you to buy. And we're bringing back the raffle number board, but this year there will only be 75 numbers and you get to choose the ones you want. Some numbers come with equivalent cash, others will cost you the equivalent dollar amount. Then you put your tickets in the bucket for the item you hope to win, including a hefty wad of cold hard cash!
There are a couple of new elements too. We're adding a wine cork pull and a dessert dash. You'll have to reserve your tickets to see what that belly laugh is all about.
Sponsorships are available right up until the event but if you want the benefit of publicity for your money, you'll want to commit to sponsoring by Aug. 2. Each sponsorship level gets tickets to the event — the more money you give the more tickets you get. Tickets will also be sold to the public without sponsorships for $30 each. Each event ticket gets you five wine, beer or whiskey samples, with an option to purchase more.
There's no pressure to play the raffle or buy an auction item (unless maybe Wendell has some blackmail material on you), so you can just come eat and drink and socialize. But the items are so good and the games are so much fun that we're sure you'll want to get involved. This is a great last blast before school starts, so bring your friends.
If you have questions or you want to reserve your tickets, don't hesitate to call the Chamber office at 537-3505.
Click HERE to download a sponsorship form.
Here we are again, Gothenburg friends, finding ourselves wanting to complain about a few slimy and bumpy spots on the dirt road home or a wet area around the drain in the basement laundry room that won't go away. Yes, our gardens are drenched. Yes, our crops seem to be a little behind the average for this time of year. And yes, your kids probably didn't get to play all of the summer league baseball they were scheduled for.
But take a quick look toward the east. And not too far east at that.
Some of our county neighbors in Cozad and Lexington will be pumping water for days and businesses have had to close, at least temporarily, because their buildings have so much water damage.
And then there's Kearney, Gibbon, Shelton and Wood River. Three days after the torrential downpour, water continues to rise in many of these cities. Folks have been washed out of their homes and their businesses, using boats to get around city streets. It will take weeks, even months, to recover ... if they recover at all. For some in Gibbon and Wood River, this is the second time in just a few short months they've watched as their livelihoods floated away.
In Gothenburg, we've thankfully been spared from the worst of it both times — in March and again this month. No doubt there have been some inconveniences here and some questionable moments, but we have so much to be grateful for.
If you have the time and resources, offer a helping hand to our neighbors in need. If not, kind words and prayers cost you nothing. Remember, there's always, always, always something to be grateful for.
What do you do when you achieve a goal you worked really hard for? You celebrate, right? The All-America City Award achieved by Gothenburg is a big deal, and not just for the team that went to Denver for the competition. It's a big deal for this entire community. So we're going to celebrate.
Some board members from Gothenburg Improvement Company — which sponsored the All-America City application, by the way — are planning a party for everyone in Gothenburg. Of course there will be free food at the YMCA from 5-7 pm of Thursday, July 11. What would a party be without food? And there will be fun stuff for the kids to do like jump until their hearts are content in a bounce house or climb through an obstacle course in the gym.
Most, if not all, of our delegation to Denver will be on hand to share their experiences. The video of our presentation will be playing in the Larry Gill Board Room, with delegates available to answer questions. And we'll have a couple of special guests. Our own Sen. Matt Williams, who represents District 36 in the Nebraska Legislature, will give some remarks, as will Lt. Gov. Mike Foley.
The YMCA is the perfect spot for this celebration since it was central to the All-America City Award presentation for the theme, "Creating Healthy Communities Through Inclusive Civic Engagement." The application and presentation also highlighted the Gothenburg Early Childhood Learning Coalition and our city's food initiatives such as the Backpack Program, Lunch Buddies, Shares and the Senior Center meals. All of those projects are undeniably worth celebrating. But that's not all that makes our city All-American.
We have an outstanding hospital with top-notch providers, a school system that is used as a model throughout the state and two local banks that are premier when it comes to community involvement and support. We have three Fortune 500 companies located here as well as small business owners who believe in the future of Gothenburg.
There are Gothenburg graduates who have gone away and come back because the culture of our community makes them want to raise their families here. We have folks who landed here because of a job many years ago and have adopted Gothenburg as their forever home. There are beautiful houses, expanding businesses, lovely parks and a municipality that cares about them all.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. This All-America City Award is not just about three projects. It's not about the 22 people who went to Denver. It's not about a plaque or a banner or a sign. It's about every single person in this town who makes up a piece of the bigger puzzle we call Gothenburg. And it's about The Gothenburg Way.
is the Executive Director of the Community Development Office, which encompasses the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce and the Gothenburg Improvement Company.