Chadron State Park will celebrate its distinction as Nebraska’s first state park and its 95th anniversary Saturday, June 11, with a wide variety of activities for all ages.
Park employees are encouraging people to spend the entire day, as all of the park’s regular activities will be in full swing along with many special offerings at the Trading Post and other locations. Start and end times of the activities vary from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but almost all of them will be well under way at midday.
“This is not only a good opportunity to showcase our park, but to celebrate the entire Nebraska state park system’s 95 years,” said Gregg Galbraith, park superintendent. “It’s a great time of year to visit the park and we have organized a lot fun activities for people to enjoy.”
From free paddle boat rides to a bounce house, children are sure to be entertained throughout the event. There also will be pellet gun shooting and an archery shoot. The swimming pool, which is open from 1-8 p.m., will give children the opportunity to dive for coins at 5 o’clock.
A wide variety of nature activities will entertain visitors, including individual displays for bighorn sheep, and turtles and amphibians. The Nebraska Game and Park’s Commission’s “Trailer of Shame,” which contains confiscated taxidermy mounts of poached animals, will also be at the event.
Other presentations will exhibit relics and skills from yesteryear, including blacksmithing, flint knapping and primitive box making. Members of the Dawes County Cruiserz Car Club will also will have their classic automobiles on display.
In recognition of the park’s anniversary year, a lunch featuring bison sloppy joes and hot dogs will be served for 95 cents from noon to 3 p.m. Free watermelon will be served from 2-4 p.m. at the swimming pool.
All activities, except horseback riding and swimming, will be free, but vehicles are required to have a park entry permit. The permit can be purchased online at outdoornebraska.org or at the park’s entrance.