|Legends Weekend offers events galore|
|September 14, 2012 Jerry Purvis|
Photo by Rick Myers Gering resident Kendall Uhrich poses near the headstone of Mattie Chipp at West Lawn Cemetery. Uhrich is one of several performers who will “embody the spirits” of local pioneers on Saturday.
A lack of things to do won’t be a problem this weekend as the Legends Weekend is offering a variety of events for everyone.
On Friday and Saturday, the Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair is taking place at the Monument Mall in Scottsbluff.
Now in its fourth year, the fair offers demonstrations in fiber art and vendors will also be in attendance for crafters to stock up on supplies.
Donna Thompson, one of the event organizers, said another popular part of the fair is the fiber animal display, featuring several different breeds that produce fiber, such as sheep and llamas.
“This year we’re really focusing on the education piece,” Thompson said. “Our breeders who are bringing animals will share lots of information about the animals, the fiber they produce and how the fiber is graded and processed. We want to make that sheep to shawl connection.”
The vendor floor is open on Friday from 1 – 7 p.m. The demonstrations, the fiber animals and other activities are from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Also on Saturday, the North Platte Valley Museum is hosting its Cemetery Tour at 5 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5. Guests will visit a half-dozen “spirits” of Gering early founders telling their stories of the community’s development.
Citizen teen columnist Kendall Urich will play the role of Mattie Chipp, an 18-year-old wife and mother who was the first person to be buried in West Lawn Cemetery in 1887.
Keaton Bell plays the role of Ben Gentry, the county’s first clerk who also had a run-in with cattle rustler Kinch McKinney.
Doug Beezley will play Oscar W. Gardner, the founder of Gering and its first postmaster. Jim Schmucker appears as A.B. Wood, publisher of the town’s first newspaper. Citizen writer Elizabeth Gross will take the role of early physician Georgia Arbuckle Fix, the “silver dollar doctor.” And Citizen publisher Lisa Betz will portray one of her actual ancestors, Sarah Gering, the first wife of the town’s namesake Martin Gering.
Visitors are encouraged to wear shoes appropriate for walking on uneven terrain and are asked to arrive at the cemetery 10 minutes before the tour. The tour will end with hot cider and cookies at the museum.
Also on Saturday from 7 – 9 a.m., the Wildcat Hills Nature Center, eight miles south of Gering is hosting a migratory bird tour of the area. Uncover the birds that call the Wildcat Hills home and learn about research being done in the area.
Saturday morning is also the day of the United Way of Western Nebraska Rubber Duck Dash at the Trails West Camp in Riverside Park. Activities start at 9 a.m. Ducks will be sold up to the time they go into the river, at 10:30 a.m. Numerous prizes will be awarded, including the grand prize of a 2012 Chevy Camero. The event is one of the major fundraisers for the United Way, which supports a number of community service agencies.
Scotts Bluff National Monument will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of the opening of the summit road on Saturday. A ribbon cutting takes place at 8 a.m. and vintage cars will travel to the top of the monument. At 1 p.m. there will be a cake cutting in the Landmark Room at the Visitor Center, along with stories of the people who built the road.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Farm And Ranch Museum hosts its 16th annual Harvest Festival. Visitors can learn about how agriculture used to be done and its continued importance to the valley.
This year’s featured crop is dry edible beans and planting and harvesting will be demonstrated by both machine and horse drawn methods.
The University of Nebraska Research and Extension Center will also be in attendance with a number of activities and information on bean research done by the center.
A variety of historic farm equipment will be on display. Each day will include a tractor parade, hay rack rides, cowboy coffee around the campfire and blacksmithing demonstrations. On Saturday morning, the Gering Kiwanis will host a pancake breakfast.
For the kids, there will be a pedal tractor course, a hay bale fort, a corn maze and other activities.
Admission is $3. The Harvest Festival is scheduled from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon, the Wildlife World Museum at 10th and U Streets in Gering will be open for tours. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children.