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Chadron State Park celebrating 96th anniversary

CHADRON, Neb. — Chadron State Park will again celebrate its distinction as Nebraska’s first state park with its 96th anniversary Saturday, June 10.

Activities will take place at various locations throughout the park beginning at 9 a.m.

At the park’s group meeting facility, visitors can dine on a lunch of bison sloppy joes or hot dogs for 96 cents each – a price that goes up a penny a year to reflect the park’s age. The band Cheap Date will perform as lunch is served from noon to 2 p.m.

From free paddleboat 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. The pool also will offer free watermelon from 2-4 p.m.

The park’s Trading Post will serve as a hub of activity with a variety of special displays and activities, including blacksmithing, flint knapping and primitive box making. The line-up also includes naturalist activities and a display for bighorn sheep. Nature enthusiasts also will enjoy a display featuring turtles and amphibians at the pond.

The classic machinery of the Highway 20 Antique Tractor Club will also be on display at the park’s ball field, highlighted by the “slow race” and parade.

All park 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.

About Justin Haag

Justin Haag has served the Commission as a public information officer in the Panhandle since 2013. His duties include serving as regional editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine. Haag was raised in southwestern Nebraska, where he developed a love for fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chadron State College in 1996, he worked four years as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Chadron and McCook. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, he worked 12 years as a communicator at Chadron State, serving as the institution’s media and public relations coordinator the last five. He and his wife, Cricket, live in Chadron, and have two children.

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