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County prepares for 125th birthday
March 07, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
In addition to the celebration of Oregon Trail Days in July, Scotts Bluff County will also celebrate its 125th birthday.

Brenda Leisy, director of Scotts Bluff County Tourism, said the group had originally intended to have the celebration on March. However, confusion over just when the documents were signed to create the county in 1888, the tourism board decided to hold the celebration in July when thousands of people are in the area for the 92nd annual Oregon Trail Days.

A number of collectibles will be on sale to help commemorate the event, including, shirts, caps, coffee mugs and blankets.
Leisy said the tourism committee is also seeking submissions for a 125th anniversary cookbook. “We’ve had a good response on the recipes, but we could always use more,” she said. “We want to make it a pretty good sized cookbook, as it was a really popular when the county celebrated its centennial.”

Recipes may be dropped off at the Human Resources office at the Scotts Bluff County Administrative Building or at the Tourism Office at the Farm And Ranch Museum.

She added the committee is still working on what kinds of activities will be a part of the celebration. However, they will participate in the OTD parade and have a cake and ice cream celebration at the county buildings.

Also during the celebration, the committee will announce the winner of the Scotts Bluff County 125th Anniversary logo contest. “We had 12 people submit their artwork and we’ve already picked the winner,” Leisy said. “It will be featured on all the commemorative items we sell. It’s a very forward thinking kind of logo and very impressive.”

Another project in which Scotts Bluff County Tourism is involved is supporting the Riverside Discovery Center, which will incorporate the Riverside Zoo, Wildlife World and a children’s museum.

The county board approved the expenditure during its Feb. 19 meeting. “We’ll be supporting them over the next five years,” Leisy said. “What they needed was some solid support so they could approach the local banks for their capital campaign.”

The center will need about $3.2 million to build the facility, which is the second largest tourist attraction in the county.
“Our committee fully supports the project,” Leisy said. “It’s the only accredited zoo in our area and is a huge drawing tool for people to come and visit. And the kids love it. We need things for kids to do while they’re here. This will be very beneficial to Scotts Bluff County, so I think it’s important for us to be on board.”

With support from the county, Riverside Discovery Center donors have now raised or pledged about $1.5 million toward the project.

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