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July packed with fun events in northeast state parks

Spend some time this summer in Nebraska’s northeast state parks. During July, a variety of events are planned for those for all ages and interests.

Don’t forget to purchase a required vehicle park entry permit to enter the state parks. Get one at or at state park entrances.

Celebrate Independence Day like it’s 1820

Travel 200 years back in time to celebrate Independence Day weekend at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park near Fort Calhoun. On July 6-7, visitors may glimpse the holiday activities that would have taken place at this 1820s-era outpost.

Ongoing demonstrations featuring military and civilian life of the 1820s will occur throughout the park. Reenactors will portray fur traders, coopers, blacksmiths, carpenters, tinsmiths, weavers and other period trades. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the reenactors.

The park will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. A fee is required at the Harold W. Andersen Visitor Center of $4 per adult and $1 per child. For more information, email, call 402-468-5611 or visit

Humanities Nebraska historical program at Fort Hartsuff

History Nebraska archeologist and Humanities Nebraska speaker Nolan Johnson will give the presentation Nebraska Archeology: 10,000 B.C.E. to Circa 1800 C.E. on July 7 at Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park near Burwell.

This free program will take place in the barracks from 3-4:30 p.m.

Johnson will discuss the human occupation of the Fort Hartsuff region before 1800 and explore prehistoric peoples through archeological evidence, including stone and bone tools, architecture, floral and faunal remains, and settlement patterns.

Humanities Nebraska provides major funding for this program.

Historical buildings, office and gift shop will be open from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Admission is required to tour the historical buildings.

Full Moon Hike at Ponca State Park

Enjoy a guided hike under a full moon July 21 with a Ponca State Park naturalist on the Corps of Discovery Trail.

Hikers will meet at 9:30 p.m. on the riverfront. This hike will last 45 minutes to an hour and may be canceled due to weather or staffing.

Call the park office at 402-755-2284 to confirm the schedule prior to arrival.

Crofton Dam Race set for July 27

Sign up or cheer on competitors in the annual Crofton Dam Race on July 27 at Lewis and Clark Lake State Recreation Area in Crofton.

Competitors can choose among three events: A sprint triathlon with kayaking instead of swimming, a half marathon or 12-mile bike race. Participants must be 14 years or older. The Triathlon can be done individually on in teams. Kayaks are provided and medals will be awarded for winners of each age group.

Plan to stick around the finish line in Crofton for a party with food and music.

Register at

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at or 402-471-5008.

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