Ponca State Park to celebrate 100 Years of Nebraska State Parks


Ponca State Park is celebrating Nebraska Game and Park’s centennial with a special event, 100 Years of Nebraska State Parks: Honoring Our Past and Celebrating Our Future, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6 - 7.

As implied in its name, this special event has historical elements, natural wonders, and outdoor recreation. Step back in time with a military reenactment flag raising ceremony or visit the encampment where you can meet Teddy Roosevelt or members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Learn about natural wonders found throughout the state of Nebraska, take a hayrack tour, develop Dutch oven cooking skills, or participate in shooting sports. There are multiple activities and programs taking place throughout this event.

Friday, Aug. 6 

There is a $15 fee per person that covers all of Friday evening activities. RSVP space is limited.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. — Wine and Cheese Social with live music by the Bligh Brothers. The first 150 guests receive a complementary centennial wine glass.

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. — Dinner, which will be a Fish Fry (menu includes: fish, coleslaw, green beans, cheesy potatoes, lemonade, ice tea, and water)

7:30 p.m  — Keynote speaker will be Jim Douglas or Tim McCoy, History of Parks, Role of CCC.

8 p.m. —  Jerome Kills Small, Oral Storytelling/Harvest Moon Campfire Stories

Saturday, Aug. 7 

Some programs have fees associated with them; just enough to cover expenses.

8 a.m. — Raising of the Flag Ceremony This is a military reenactment with the firing of a cannon.

9 a.m. — River of Change – National Parks video.

Ashfall – Paleontological Dig

9:45 – 11:30 a.m. —  NET Movie – Adventures in History.

Buffalo Bill Reenactment

Bird Banding – Important Bird Parks to visit

Shooting Sports – Muzzloaders, Slingshots, .22s, Archery, Atlatl, and Tomahawk. Shooting sports have small fees associated with them to cover supply costs.

Walking Sticks with Centennial Medallions, $10 fee for supplies.

Dutch Oven Cooking, $3 fee for supplies.

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch – Carol’s Kitchen vendor truck available.

1 – 2:30 p.m. — Shooting Sports – Shotguns, Slingshots, .22s, Archery, Atlatl, and Tomahawk. Shooting sports have small fees associated with them to cover supply costs.

Woodland Hayrack Tour

Ponca History Hayrack Tour

Living History on the Trail - Learn what it was like to explore the West by horseback as you participate on a trail ride.

Dutch Oven Cooking, $3 fee for supplies.

2:45 – 4 p.m. — Ceremonial Bur Oak Tree Planting & Natural Wonders throughout Nebraska program

Role of the CCC & Unveiling CCC Plaque Travel by hayrack to the West Shelter.

Marci Broyhill & Teresa Kay Orr – Aprons, Skirts, Hats & Flirts: Women-Their range of Status During the Western Movement

NET Movie – Exploring Nebraska State Parks

Woodland Hayrack Tour

Ponca Hayrack History Tour

6 – 7:30 p.m. Dinner – Buffalo Feed, Dutch Oven Style. RSVP space is limited. $15 per person, Past employees and significant other free.

7 p.m. Keynote – Jim Swenson – The Future of Nebraska Parks.

7:30 p.m. Birthday Cake & Past Employee Recognition.

8:30 p.m. Sunset Guided Hike

Sunset Kayaking

10 p.m. Laser Light Show

ALL DAY Encampment located in the meadow next to mini lodge “Whitetail” with reenactors interacting with guests.

In conjunction with this event, the city of Ponca is having its first annual Ponca Frog Days, August 5 – 8. Come to Ponca and enjoy the 100 Years of Nebraska State Parks and Ponca Frog Days!