Entertainment Along the Byway
The ways that the farmers and ranchers play are often closely tied to their occupations. In large cities, people may leave their desk job to spend the weekend in a different environment like the mountains or at a beach. It’s different along this Byway, where their work is so much a part of their lives that it is often their play. Rodeos – including ranch rodeos, bull riding, team penning, cattle cutting, horse racing, and tractor pulls – are all part of the cultural entertainment of the area.
Other cultural practices that occur on a daily and seasonal basis – such as harvesting, branding, and cattle drives – are often used as social events. County fairs, ethnic festivals, and community celebrations also feature the cultural heritage of the area.
Don’t get the impression that work and play that is like work are the only outlets for residents. Dances, fine arts exhibits, musical concerts, ethnic festivals, and crafts shows are just a few of the activities that are popular along the Byway. The residents frequent attractions like bowling alleys, movie theatres, and golf courses. Every community seems to have some type of a homecoming celebration such as high school alumni weekend, community or holiday festival, where people make new friendships or rekindle relationships with extended families.
Examples of ethnic traditions occur in various communities along the Byway.
- German Heritage Days Old Settlers Picnic is held annually at the Liederkranz in Grand Island featuring foods and dance traditions.
- Dannebrog was proclaimed the “Danish Capital of Nebraska” in 1989 by the Nebraska Legislature. Travelers can taste authentic Danish pastries and foods at the local bakery and restaurant. Grundlovsfest (Danish Days) is a weekend event celebrating Danish traditions.
- Loup City celebrates Polish Days annually featuring a polka street dance, Polish food court, and cultural customs.
- On the far west end of the Byway, Hemingford holds Czech Days and Fun Dayz each year keeping the Czech traditions alive by wearing traditional Czech clothing and enjoying Czech music and food.
These events and many others celebrate the Byway heritage and promote the lifestyle of their ancestors.