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June packed with fun park events for the family

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

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

Lewis and Clark hosting Dueling Pianos at the Lake

Tickets now are on sale for Midwest Dueling Pianos at the Lake, set for June 3 at Lewis and Clark State Recreation area near Crofton.

Dueling Pianos, slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Weigand Marina, is a mix of music and comedy. Uncle Jarrols and Crofton Haymarket will serve food, with CJ’s at the Lake providing a cash bar.

Space is limited, so purchase tickets early. Cost is $20 per person or $160 for a table of eight. Purchase tickets at the Lewis and Clark park office or by phone at 402-388-4169.

Rock Creek Trail Days scheduled for June 3-4

Explore a place where road ranches served pioneers along the Oregon-California Trail, Pony Express riders carried mail across the West, and Wild Bill Hickok began a legendary career as a gunfighter. Rock Creek Trail Days is set for June 3-4 at Rock Creek Station State Historical Park near Fairbury.

The visitor center will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. A buffalo stew cookout and guest speaker are scheduled for June 3.

For more information, see the calendar entry at

Enders Outdoor Extravaganza set for June 10

Come to Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area on June 10 and enjoy a full day of activities for all ages with the Enders Outdoor Extravaganza.

Activities will include a 5K run, craft show, working truck show, tractor show, Dutch oven cooking, BBQ smoke-off, outdoor games, kayaking, petting zoo, bounce house and live music.

For more information on the day’s schedule of events, see the calendar entry at

Grand opening for Fort Atkinson’s renovated visitor center June 3

See the recent renovations at the Harold W. Anderson Visitor Center Grand Opening at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park on June 3.

The day’s festivities, which will last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will include a ribbon cutting, Living History, guided tours of the exhibits, and much more.

Admission to the visitor center is $4 for ages 13 and over, $1 for ages 3-12, and free for ages 2 and under.

Fort Atkinson, the first military post west of the Missouri River, is located seven blocks east of U.S. Highway 75 near Fort Calhoun.

Mystery at the Mansion set for June 2-3

Come to Arbor Lodge State Historical Park on June 2-3 for two evenings of fun with Mystery at the Manson. June 2 will feature Murder at Deadwood Saloon and June 3 will be Murder at the Hatters Ball. These old-fashioned whodunits will take place at Arbor Lodge Mansion.

Solve clues, look for evidence and break the case while mingling. Participants will receive a character to portray as they arrive at Arbor Lodge Mansion.

Cost is $30 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Visit the event listing at to buy tickets or for information on adding dinner or lodging.

Pony Express re-ride exchange at Rock Creek Station SHP

Come to Rock Creek Station State Historical Park on June 16 for the 2023 Pony Express Re-Ride Exchange.

Each June, the National Pony Express Association recreates the Pony Express in a commemorative re-ride. Letters are carried in a mochila over the original trail stretching from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. The 1,966-mile, eight-state event is conducted 24 hours a day over a 10-day period until complete.

On June 16, Rock Creek Riders will carry the mochila eastbound through Jefferson County from about 5 p.m. to the Nebraska-Kansas line by 10 p.m. An exchange will take place on Rock Creek Station’s East Ranch at approximately 8:15 p.m.

For more information, see the calendar entry at

Merritt Reservoir to host Magnificent Moths, Spectacular Stars

Come to Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area for the Magnificent Moths, Spectacular Stars dark skies program June 24.

For three hours beginning at 9 p.m., discover the fantastic world of wonderful nighttime insects while celebrating Merritt Reservoir’s designation as an International Dark Sky Park.

Using night lighting equipment, outdoor enthusiasts will investigate the relationship between dark skies and wildlife.

Help with Standing Bear Lake cleanup June 3

A cleanup day at Standing Bear Lake is scheduled for June 3. The Omaha lake has been drained for an Aquatic Habitat and Boating Access project, creating an opportunity to remove trash from the lake bed.

The Nebraska Game and Park Commission, the City of Omaha, Omaha Parks Foundation, Greater Omaha Trail Runners, and the Omaha Running Club invite volunteers to help clean up the lake and nearby trail and parking areas from 9 a.m. to noon.

Bring gloves and wear closed-toed shoes or boots and clothing that can get dirty as some of the areas are wet and muddy. Trash bags, grabbers and pails will be provided. Meet at the south boat ramp parking lot.

Visit the calendar event listing at to register and more information.

Scheels 3D Archery Tournament is June 3-4

The public is invited to compete in a 3D archery tournament June 3-4 at Ponca State Park hosted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and sponsored by Scheels.

Each round of shooting will include 60 targets. There will be prizes and giveaways.

For more information, contact the Sioux City Scheels Archery Shop at 712-252-1551.

Bob Dakota Fire Prevention Fund Day is June 17

Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area will host the Bob Dakota Fire Prevention Fund Day on June 17.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., visit with local rural fire departments, law enforcement, Omaha Public Power District, and other safety entities to learn about fire safety awareness and firefighter and law enforcement job duties.

For the kids, there will be fire truck rides, free food, face painting, seat belt simulator, and much more.

Visit the calendar event listing at for information.

Ponca SP to host Father’s Day Fish Fry

Ponca State Park will host at Father’s Day Fish Fry on June 18.

From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., dads can be treated to a made-from-scratch fish fry, with Dutch oven cobbler for dessert.

Reservations are required. Call 402-755-2284.

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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