Lincoln

Friday Photography: Happy Birthday, America, from Nebraska!

July 4th Eagle & Balloon

Even our national symbol is blown up …

July 4th Rider Collage

I love a parade!

July 4th Two Flags Collage

Flags from yesterday and today …

July 4th In God We Trust Edited

Our national motto …

July 4th Capital

Reminders of our government …

July 4th Kids on Capital Steps

A beautiful day to enjoy the Nebraska Capital!

 

July 4th Fireworks Collage

Have a safe and happy 4th of  July!  A BIG THANK YOU to those who serve our country and who have made freedom possible!  God bless America!

 

 

 

 

Categories: Annual Events, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nebraska’s Small Town Independence Day Celebrations (Featuring Seward and Waverly)

4th of July Narrow

I am feeling a bit embarrassed this morning.  In my haste to try to get information out to you last night, so that you could actually catch the fireworks shows that were happening last evening, I forgot something rather important.  I only left “America’s Fourth of July City-Small Town USA!” city off of my list.  Jeepers!  I also know that nearby Waverly is having a full day of festivities.    These two towns get their own post evidently! 🙂

Photo taken from July Fourth Seward website

All of these events are taking place in Seward, and you can find a printable schedule on their site.

A Grand Parade at 4:00 pm                                   Outstanding Fireworks Display
“Food Alley”                                                                Free Movies at the Rivoli Theater
Crafts on the Square-Craft Show                          Humanities Presentations/Lectures
Patriotic Programs                                                   Children’s Games
Historic Exhibits                                                        Walking Tour of Downtown
Art Shows                                                                   Clowns
Quilt Lectures/Talks                                                 Special Seward County Independent
Quilt Exhibit                                                                Travelogues
Anvil Firing                                                                  Prayer Service
Grand Concert in Plum Creek Park                      Children’s Drama/Shows
Rotary Club Royalty                                                  Antique Auto Show/Contest
Parachutists                                                              Cloggers and Dancers
Holiday Lights Downtown                                       Horseshoe Contest
Carnival                                                                      Freedom Run
Bar-B-Que                                                                  Band Concerts
Miscellaneous Market                                             Tourist Family
Pet Parade/Contest                                                 Awards
Apple Pie Eating Contest                                       Pictorial Postal Cancellation
Guest Register                                                         Baseball games
Wild West Shootout                                                 Band Concerts
Magic Shows                                                            Family Shows/Concerts

Their GIANT fireworks salute takes place tonight at 10!

As for WaverlyFest, you missed the state’s largest street dance last night.  Sorry!  But you still have time to make it to the 10 a.m. parade.  I could not find the exact schedule of events, but here is a description from their website of the upcoming events.  (Note: the picture is also from their website!)

Come join the Fourth of July celebration in Waverly Nebraska.  Events include a pancake feed, a parade, Ice Cream Social, Kid Games, Money Toss, Sand Volleyball, Beer Garden, Street Dance, and Swimming.  The celebration concludes with a Fireworks Display at Lawson Park.

However you celebrate the day of Independence, I pray that you and your loved ones stay safe!

flagparade

Categories: Annual Events, Lincoln, Metro, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Celebrating Independence Day Across Nebraska

File:Fireworks 4.jpg

Image from Wikimedia Commons

I had hoped to get this posted earlier today because many events have been underway, at least in this area, for quite awhile.  Yet since there are a few more hours left until dark and the real shows are beginning, I decided it was still worth the post.  Obviously I will not manage to catch every town.  But here are some of the larger celebrations happening across Nebraska today, tomorrow and the rest of this week-end!

Frontier Trails

Grand Island: Fonner Park Fireworks at Dusk on July 4th

Hastings: 4th of July Concert with “The Rumbles” (possibly fireworks to follow?)

Kearney Fireworks: Thursday July 3rd 10 pm

Fort Kearny Stampede Day (July 4th Day)

Lewis and Clark

Columbus: Red, White & KaBoom on Thursday July 3rd

Norfolk (Saturday the 5th at 10 pm)

Metro

Fremont: Thursday Night

Lincoln: Uncle Sam Jam: Thursday July 3rd

Lincoln Red, White and Zoo (Friday All Day)

Two Other Lincoln Events on the 4th of July:

Celebrate America! — 9:30 a.m., kids’ parade and marching band; 10-11 a.m., patriotic program; 11-11:30 a.m., old-fashioned family games; 11:30 a.m.-noon, hot dog lunch, Cripple Creek Park, Pine Lake Road between 40th and 56th streets, north on Beaver Creek Lane; the park is on the corner of Fir Hollow and Beaver Creek Lane. Everyone welcome.

Fourth of July storytime — 11 a.m., SouthPointe Barnes & Noble Booksellers. “Corduroy’s 4th of July” and “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Omaha: Link to “Family Fun in Omaha” for all the area events!

Panhandle

Alliance: Laing Lake Lunatic Boat Races

Gering Fireworks (Thursday Night)

Scotts Bluff Area VIewing (Watch area fireworks from the Bluff – no actual fireworks permitted on site)

Pioneer Country

Beatrice: Homestead National Monument: Campire Series (July 4th evening events)

Nebraska City: Events on Friday and Saturday

York: July 3rd Fireworks

Prairie Lakes

Maxwell: Maranatha Bible Camp (Dinner, concert & fireworks: $)

North Platte Fireworks on July 4th- 8 p.m.?

Ogallala Fireworks: July 4th at Dusk

Sandhills:

Ainsworth Fourth of July (Celebration all day including races & evening fireworks)

Know of any other great events happening to celebrate the 4th of July?  Please post them on my “Odyssey Through Nebraska” Facebook Page!

Happy Birthday, United States of America!

 

 

 

Categories: Annual Events, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Capitol: A Nebraska Masterpiece

Capitol Exterior

Truly the Nebraska Capitol is one of my very favorite places across the whole state.  Why it has taken me a year to feature Nebraska’s most recognizable building on this blog I am not sure.  Maybe this is because writing this post is STILL daunting to me!    How can you narrow down a building that contains so much architectural beauty, cultural significance and Nebraska symbolism.  I think this is why this post has never been written.  Today, in my own feeble way, I will attempt to give you a”quick” tour of this Nebraska Masterpiece.

Nebraska’s Capitol building is filled with murals, mosaics, tapestries and distinguishing architectural details.  Because I am pretty certain that no one will take the time to read 32 pages of one blog post, I am setting those details aside.  Additionally I plan on writing a separate post on my kids’ favorite part of the building: the tippy top.  To ride to the “14th” floor, one must climb into a rather small, older elevator.  By the way, in case you were wondering, despite its appearance to the contrary, you CAN in fact fit a double stroller inside to ride up.  We have done it successfully several times!

Back to the purpose of today’s blog … Just like our national government, our Nebraska state government has three branches.

Capitol Judicial Branch

The Judicial branch.

Capitol Legislative Chambers

The Legislative Branch.

As long as the judges and senators are not work, both of these sections are part of the daily tours that run hourly (except at noon.)  Now we also happen to have an executive area where the governor and his staff are busily at work.  Since they are a bit more involved in the daily aspects of government, this section is usually closed to the public.  As we once had a special family event take place inside the Capitol, I do have a picture of the executive press room.

Capitol Executive Press Room with family

Cropped and from my scrapbook, really you only get a good idea of the official press conference desk.

These are the main sections that exist inside of the capitol.  Of course, the basement is filled with legislative offices and the cafeteria and a gift shop.  Statues of famous Nebraskans line the rotunda, but I think that is another post as well.  Guess you will be hearing about the Nebraska Capitol for a long time to come!

Capitol Walkway

Another favorite area – the outdoor mezzanine.  By walking around the outdoor platform, one can learn the names of all of the Nebraska counties.  One could also learns the basics of the history of government.  The relief carvings above the walkway are not necessarily in chronological order, so I do recommend getting the explanatory pamphlet from inside the capitol.  By the way, I wrote a more detailed article on walking around the Capitol with children for the May/June/July issue of the Lincoln Kids Newspaper.  You can pick up a copy from many area Lincoln places, or you can look online.

The Capitol Website has a wealth of information on all of the history and interesting facts of the building.  NET Public Television has also produced an excellent documentary on the Nebraska Capitol.  Our family was rivoted – okay, I definitely was, but my husband and kids also enjoyed the show!

Nebraska’s Capitol Masterpiece

Would you look at that?  I used the same word to describe the capitol that they did!  If you have never been to the Nebraska Capitol, I HIGHLY recommend you visit.  The Capitol Website also has downloadable building, Abraham Lincoln and civics scavenger hunts.  Completing these will help your older kids be engaged in the experience.  As for your younger kids, have them go on a shape and color hunt as you walk through.  The Capitol is filled with all sorts of possibilities!  In fact, below is a picture of one of the courtyard areas I have yet to explore.  Maybe someday I will figure out how to do that!

Capitol Courtyard

One more important item to note: The Nebraska Capitol Building can be found on both the “Lincoln: Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown” passport and the Nebraska Passport.  When you go visit, make sure to get a stamp.  The programs run through the end of August and September respectively.

 

 

 

Categories: Lincoln, Lincoln "Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown", Metro, Nebraska History, Nebraska Passport, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Blogiversary to Me: One Year of Odyssey Through Nebraska

Blow up the balloons!  Throw the confetti!  Drape the streamers!”Odyssey Through Nebraska” is exactly one year old today.

When I started this blog last July, I had no idea how much this would change my life and also the lives of my family.   While there have been a few bumps in the road, overall I have definitely enjoyed the journey.  Thank you for being a part of this path with me!

Four in a Jeep

Don’t you just love the various expressions on my kids’ faces?  Kind of sums up the year for me: happy, confused, delirious and tired.  Guess you can assign who is who! 🙂

I plan to make this month a true BloGIVErsary.  That is right: I have been working on lining up some great giveaways.   While most bloggers manage to feature several prizes in a row, I have decided to space mine out a bit.  Each Tuesday in July, I will be announcing what prize my readers are eligible to win!  I am so excited – giving away prizes is so fun!  Especially when you have such great sponsors!  Later on today, I will announce my first one, so please stay tuned!

 

Categories: Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills, Where to Begin | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Moving Monday: Opening Doorways to Hope in Lincoln

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  Walt Disney (found at Brainy Quote)

Inept.  That is the most accurate word that describes how I am feeling as I am trying to present this unique art display that is currently happening in Lincoln, Nebraska.  This is not the first time that a community wide art project has taken place in our Capital City.  Yet I think that the theme and the concept this time is SO powerful that capturing the essence of what the Doorways to Hope is all about is a bit daunting.  This joint public art project between the The Lincoln-Lancaster County Habitat of Humanity and the Lincoln Hildegard Center for the Arts has artwork displayed all around town.

To my faraway reader friends, I want to convey the power of these sculptures, so that you feel like you are experiencing them in person.  For my nearby Nebraska friends, I want you to feel so inspired after learning about this display that you feel compelled to go and check all of the “Doorways to Hope” out in person.  Above all, I want you to learn more.

Doorways to Hope Logo

This is what I decided to do.  I am going to present pictures of the 5 (out of 21) doors that we have visited so far.  Once we have completed our tour, I will do an additional post featuring the pictures of ALL of the doors.  I will also prepare a document that you can click on that will explain our impressions of each of the doors. I think this will be especially great for my out-of-town readers who cannot make it to see the doors in person.

So far we have been to the four library locations and to the one at the International Quilt Study Center.  Each artist collaborated with different members of the community.  The latter one was created by Julia Noyes of the Noyes Art Gallery.  The door is entitled “The Monarch, The Metamorphosis.”The Monarch, The Metamorphosis

Eisley Library features the youngest participants in their creation, “Helping Hands.”  This is the one that featured the puzzle pieces, demonstrating that we all need to work together and fulfill our part!

Helping Hands

Using a car door as inspiration, the piece “A View from the Outside In and Inside Out” is so creative and might possibility have the most interesting story.  Linda Thomas created this with help from her son, Mark, colloborated with the St. Marks United Methodist Church Transportation for Humanity.  The symbolism and meaning of this artwork are compelling!

A View from the Inside Out and Outside In

My longtime friend, Tamara Kaye, led group of students to create the doors at the other two libraries.  She owns Art Planet in Lincoln – a wonderful place for students of all ages to learn to create.

At the downtown Bennett Martin library, the piece is entitled “To Hope.”  Behind every closed door is the word “hope” in various languages.  My daughter was really excited when she found the “English” door.  Hope just happens to be her middle name!

Doorways of Hope - To Hope (Open Doors)

Located in the middle of Lincoln, Gere Library is hosting Tamara Kaye’s other “Doorway to Hope.”  The symbolism behind “Window of Opportunity” makes this door incredibly memorable.  This is one that you need to examine with a close-up eye to catch all of the meaning that the artists are conveying.

Window of Opportunity

As you can tell, these doors inspire stories of their own.  Which door is your favorite so far?  Have you personally been to any of the “Doorways to Hope” in Lincoln yet?  You can download the map and begin your own adventure today!  If you want to know more, please read this excellent article by Erin Andersen, “Opening, Doors, Opening Hearts,” found in the Lincoln Journal Star.

 

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Stopping Modern Day Slavery in Nebraska

Writing about the Underground Railroad on this blog last week was so much easier.  Partly because I want to stick my head in the sand and pretend that nothing so horrible as enslaving others is still going on today.  While the shackled may no longer be working the cotton, many are still forced into a lifestyle that is NOT of their own choosing.  This is even true in Nebraska.  (Thanks, Jen, for forcing me to recognize this fact even though I still really want to pretend that it does not exist!)

Sex Trafficking Haunts Nebraska Events

This compelling article from NET tells a story that I do not really want to read.  As the two game elimination series happens at the College World Series tonight, for me it is all about a great baseball game.  For others, it is not.  Big profile events perpetuate crime opportunities.   Even small towns can still hide evil.

File:Springview, Nebraska street signs.JPG

Image from Wikimedia Commons

On my Sacred Line blog this morning, I wrote a bit about my own personal reflections and what I hope to do about this issue.  Being only one small voice, I now want to point out organizations that are working so hard in our community to stop the horrific spread of modern day slavery.  How we can make the biggest impact is by coming alongside others who are already aware of exactly what is going on and are taking the stops to stop the injustice.  (A big thank you to Colleen for letting me know of several more groups that are making a difference!)

I’ve Got a Name This is the best site to learn about how this issue is impacting the Nebraska area.  They have resources to help you get informed and then ways that you can get involved in fighting this issue that does affect us here at home.

Tiny Hands International (Headquartered in Lincoln – they fight slavery here and across the world)

Restore Innocence (While this group may be located in Colorado, they do provide support to victims in Nebraska)

Innocence Lost: Ending Child Prostitution (FBI site) – their office out of Omaha is working directly on cases that may happen in Nebraska

Nebraska University Students Against Modern-Day Slavery (NUSAMS)

“Freedom Change” (A smaller group of students also trying to make a difference)

International Justice Mission on Facebook an international organization that is making a difference around the world!

Love 146 While this organization is based out of Connecticut, I appreciate the work and education that they seem to be providing here and around the world.  The below quote by their founder is the reason why I wrote this uncomfortable blog post and is why this issue is so important!

“Child trafficking isn’t just a cause full of mind-numbing stats.  It’s about somebody’s son or daughter.”  Rob Morris, Love 146 co-founder and president.

 

Categories: Causes Across Nebraska, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Watching other “football” in Nebraska at Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena

Perhaps my post should really read “futbol,” but no matter how you say the word, it sounds the same, although the two footballs obviously have drastically different meanings.  A new kind of football will be featured in the Capital City tomorrow!  Perhaps you are going futbol crazy watching men down in Brazil kicking a ball around.  Maybe you want to kick your game watching up a notch. Maybe you are wanting to kick off the patriotic 4th of July season a bit early.  Or maybe you just are ready to get out of the house, yet still be inside for the afternoon.  Possibly you have been wanting to make it down to the new Pinnacle Arena in Lincoln but have just not had a good enough reason yet.  Boy, do I have an outing for you!

 File:Soccer ball animated.svg

Image copied from Wikimedia Commons following licensing

Tomorrow late afternoon (following church and meal out, of course, if you are like my family) you can watch the United States versus Portugal at Lincoln’s largest venue for FREE.  Here is the information copied directly from Pinnacle Bank Arena’s website.

If you can’t get to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, don’t despair. Soccer fans of all ages can beat the hot temperatures and watch the U.S.A. national soccer team take on Portugal on Sunday, June 22 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The match is set for 5:00 p.m. with doors opening at 4:00 p.m.

The public is invited to watch the game on the arena video boards. Admission is free with specials available at select concession stands featuring free popcorn, $2 hot dogs, and $3 beers (12 oz).

“Cheer for Team U.S.A. and watch the game in a fun atmosphere with hundreds of your friends,” said Tom Lorenz, Pinnacle Bank Arena general manager.

Fans can enter the arena from the main and north entrances. Free parking will be available in the Pinnacle Bank Arena Premium Garage, Gate 4 and Festival Parking Lot.

Go, USA!

Categories: Concerts and Performances, Family Outings, Lincoln, Metro, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lincoln’s Citywide Art Displays: Doorways of Hope

Today seems to have passed quickly by me.  Since I did spend quite a bit of time doing fun things with my children, I guess this is okay.  But now with it being past 11, sleep sounds better to me than typing away.  Yet since I do like to reveal my Wordless Wednesdays on Thursday, I decided that at least a short post is in order.

Telling about the topic at hand only briefly would be a disservice.  After all, this is one of my favorite ongoing Lincoln area adventures.  Introducing the topic is a better idea.  Without further ado, did you guess what I was featuring?  Of course you did, if you read the blog post title. 🙂

Doorways to Hope Logo

Across Lincoln for the next several months, you can see displays of community collaboration.  Art projects featuring doors that begin to tell the story of the impact that Habitat for Humanity is making in this city and beyond.  Our family’s mission is visit every single location.  I will talk about the beginning of our quest and those doors that we have seen so far in a special “Moving Monday” next week.

Why wait that long? Tomorrow I plan to feature another place that we visited just this week.  A location that indirectly affected a holiday that was observed by many today.  Official celebrations will be occurring in at least two Nebraska locations on Saturday.  Curious?  Turn in tomorrow to an informative “Flashback Friday.”  (Between now and Monday, maybe we will even manage to observe another door or two, making Monday’s column a bit longer.  See – waiting is not completely a negative thing.)

Good night, for now, from Nebraska!

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Friday Flashback: Lincoln’s Early Architecture (Book Review)

Note: Unable to read the full review right now?  Please skip to the end to find out about the special event happening in Lincoln TOMORROW (Saturday June 14th) regarding this book.  If you want the article summary, I do highly recommend the book Lincoln’s Early Architecture by Lincoln authors Hansen, McKee and Zimmer.

Reading books that connect the past with the present are always the ones that intrigue me.  I relish titles that meld the distant past with current reality.  This is the perfect description of the book that I am in the middle of enjoying.  Normally a person should probably not suggest someone read a book that he or she has not actually completed.  Yet I can recommend the non-fiction work, Lincoln’s Early Architecture,  without reservation, even though I am only halfway through finishing.

Lincoln’s Early Architecture is written by the “who’s who” of Lincoln historic building experts.  Any one of these three men could have written a great historical Lincoln book on their own.  In fact, a few of them already have published historical Lincoln books.  By collaborating and sharing their own collections, the results are outstanding.   Matthew Hansen is a Nebraska preservation architect who has worked on restoring the Nebraska capitol.  James McKee is a business owner and just happens to be THE Lincoln city historian.  Edward Zimmer works as Lincoln and Lancaster County historic preservation planner.  See what I mean on their qualifications?

At only 127 pages, this book is not overly lengthy.  Covering so many places around Lincoln, the information to be absorbed is rather extensive.  Reading this book from cover to cover may not ever happen in one sitting for me.  Using this book as a reference will happen repeatedly.  In fact, I plan on keeping the title in my car for many months to come.  I do believe I will have to convince my husband to drive me downtown more often – that way I can stare about in identification mode and not get into any accidents!

Employing the use of historic photographs, the authors relay how Lincoln used to be. The result, for me, was a curiosity to know more.  Reading about what was is a great starting point.  Now I want to go to downtown Lincoln and see what still is.

 

Kennard Historic Lincoln

I took this picture of a picture inside of the still-standing Kennard House.  So hard to believe that this was Lincoln’s humble beginnings.  Of the buildings in this photograph, you can only visit the one. 

Several of the buildings are immediately recognizable to me just based on seeing the picture.  Trying to identify many of the others is more of a challenge.  Especially since the downtown Lincoln skyline is definitely a conglomeration between old and new.  Thankfully the book does make a note as to which buildings are still standing.  Many of these pictured structures have now been razed.  Several for parking lots. This makes me a bit sad.

Not all of the included buildings are found in downtown Lincoln.  Places throughout the city are included for historical reference.  This book answered a question that I had always wanted to investigate.

What is the significance of the Indian statue in Pioneer Park?
Indian smoke signals at Pioneer Park

Other than knowing the name of the statue (“The Smoke Signal”), I always wondered why the statue is even there.  While I believe a bit of this information is nearby the statue,  the story was incomplete.  By reading page 122 in this book, I finally know the full story behind the Indian!

Evidently before Ellis Luis Burman Jr. made his mark in special effects, props and make-up in Hollywood, he was a Lincoln man.  Hired as a sculptor to design several of the statues around Pioneer’s Park, this one is his most famous one.  Weighing in at five tons and standing at fifteen feet, this depiction of Chief Red Cloud makes an impression.

I know that I will enjoy learning more about Lincoln architecture past and present in the weeks to come.  Getting your own copy of the book is simple.  One of my favorite book stores in Lincoln, Indigo Bridge Books, is having a book reading and signing with at least two of the authors from 1:00-2:00.  You can purchase a copy of the book at that location!  Incidentally, snacks and coffee will be served.   Come for the food and the story – go home with an interesting reference book about Lincoln.  Definitely a worthwhile outing!  Unable to attend?  The book store will continue to have copies available, as do other book retailers.

P.S. Thank you to Arcadia Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book to review.  This would have been a title on my to-read list.  By bringing the book to my attention, my knowledge of historical Lincoln will continue to expand.  I will definitely be referencing the book again on this blog!

Categories: Flashback Fridays, Lincoln, Metro, Nebraska History, People Behind the Place | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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