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9 Must-Visit Events and Festivals in Kearney

Fill your weekends with music, food and fun in this Nebraska city.

By Livability on January 4, 2022

Festival fun in Kearney, NE
Corbey R. Dorsey/Visit Kearney

Kearney hosts several family-friendly activities throughout the year. Here are just a few ways you can get out and enjoy.

Freedom Fest

United Way-Kearney Area presents the annual Freedom Fest outdoor event in early July for residents to enjoy music, food, carnival games, trampolines and inflatables.

Taste Kearney Restaurant Week

More than 20 food establishments take part each September in the annual six-day Taste Kearney Restaurant Week organized by the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce. Participating restaurants/bars create special drinks, appetizers, entrees and dessert items not available on their regular menus.

Midway PBR Challenge

Every December, Midway Auto Dealerships sponsors a Professional Bull Riders Challenge at LandMark Implement Arena inside the Buffalo County Fairgrounds Exposition Building.

Heritage Day

Yanney Heritage Park is the site for an annual Heritage Day celebration
every June. The event features activities such as a kids’ zone,
kayak races, a 5K walk and fireworks.

Art in the Park

Harmon Park serves as the host site for the annual Art in the Park celebration that celebrated its 50th anniversary in July 2021. The one-day event attracts artists from around the Midwest to exhibit and sell their unique paintings and sculptures.

Nebraska Shrine Bowl

Every June, the Nebraska Shrine Bowl takes place at Foster Field at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. North and South squads make up the two football teams, and the day includes a parade to start the festivities.

Sandhill Crane Migration

February and March are the two best months for public viewing of sandhill cranes that migrate to the Platte River. There are several good spots to see and watch the large birds, including Fort Kearny Bridge, Plautz Viewing Platform, Windmill State Park and multiple roadside viewing sites along the Platte River.

Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic

Held at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds, the annual extravaganza
features four days of festivities in early November.
A winter edition will take place Feb. 12-20, 2022.

Cruise Nite Week

The 35th annual Cruise Nite will take place for six evenings in mid-July 2022, with the classic car festival showcasing vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles.

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