The Story of NEBRASKAland DAYS
Original NLD Board Members Honored at 2011 Buffalo Bill Rodeo
Jim Whitaker, Jim Seacrest, Neal Baxter, and Bob Gambs
Nebraska Game and Parks Division NEBRASKAland DAYS promotional video:
NEBRASKAland DAYS was first conceived in 1965 as a statewide celebration with two primary objectives, first to promote tourism and secondly to commemorate our great heritage and pay tribute to the people that paved the way for the Nebraskaland of today. The first celebrations, held in Lincoln, Nebraska, lasted only four days and included only a limited number of events with an annual budget of approximately $50,000.
In 1968, NEBRASKAland DAYS came to its permanent home in North Platte and has since expanded to a major tourist attraction with over 80 events, including four performances of professional rodeo, two or more concerts, a western musical theater production, professional and competitive art shows, parades, feeds, a heritage festival, competitive sporting events and a host of other special events. Many events are targeted to specific audiences like seniors, youth, or families. The annual June celebration now lasts nearly two weeks operating on an annual budget approaching $1,000,000.
As “Nebraska’s official celebration,” NEBRASKAland DAYS continues to successfully accomplish many of its primary goals. Even as early as the mid-to-late 1960′s, the value of tourism as an economic product was recognized. However, as our economy continues to evolve beyond industrial genres of economic output, the value of tourism and specifically NEBRASKAland DAYS assumes a greater significance in the overall role of our economy. NEBRASKAland DAYS provides a distinct economic offering by marketing the experience of the Old West.