Get ready to celebrate Nebraska’s 150th year of statehood

Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial celebration gives citizens a year-long opportunity to celebrate Nebraska’s past and imagine its future, First Lady Susanne Shore said.

The ceremonies open on March 1, 2017, at the State Capitol with music, actors in period attire, and a recitation of the original Proclamation. A formal commemoration will be held at 2 p.m. in the Legislative Chamber, and will be broadcast live on NET. Nebraska State Poet Twyla Hansen will read an original poem written for the occasion, and there will be special music, an honor guard, speeches, and proclamations.

On the evening of March 1, the public is invited to the grand opening of “Painting the Legacy.” This exhibit of Todd Williams’ original paintings of all 93 Nebraska counties will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Nebraska History Museum.

Even before March 1, Nebraskans can celebrate online. Web projects launch in January of 2017, giving Nebraskans the opportunity to learn something new about their state. Through “Nebraska Impact Initiatives,” the “Nebraska 150 Challenge,” “I am Nebraska,” and “Now You Know Nebraska,” citizens of all ages can participate in projects that help them build community, discover their state, and make a difference.

Now You Know Nebraska” will be short videos detailing fun and interesting Nebraska facts and stories. “I am Nebraska” is a challenge to submit “living history” videos of community service. While both projects target elementary and high school students, all can enjoy these projects. Also, the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau can help people of all ages learn about their state from the most passionate presenters: fellow Nebraskans.

Following the opening commemorations, other projects include the Tree Planting Initiative. Schoolchildren will plant trees to help restore damaged forest spaces and celebrate Nebraska’s tree-planting heritage.

Festivities will culminate in “A Salute to the Good Life” celebration, September 22-23 on Centennial Mall in Lincoln.

Nebraska 150 Celebration Executive Director Regan Anson, First Lady Shore, a two-person staff, members of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission, and Friends of Nebraska 150 Foundation have been working hard to ensure incredible memories for Nebraskans. They are excited for the entire state to join in the fun.

“This moment is a moment in time where we can pause for just a heartbeat,” Anson said in a press release. “Reflect on how far we have come as a state, take pride in who we are as Nebraskans and chart the course for our future.”


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