Fun-packed weekend set for celebration
For the past few years, McCook's Heritage Days celebration and the High Plains Freedom Flight have existed as separate events. But this year, on Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25, the highly popular activities will be presented on the same weekend.
"It's been a good move," says Pam Harsh, executive director of the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce. "The events fit together real well. It's as if they were made for each other."
What Pam is referring to is the fact that the main events for Heritage Days and the Freedom Flight occur at different times. On Saturday, Sept. 24, for example, Freedom Flight V will begin with hot air balloon ascensions at 7:45 a.m., nearly three hours in advance of the 10:30 a.m. Heritage Days parade.
Sunday's schedule is similar, with hot air balloon ascensions beginning at 7:45 a.m., more than five hours before the Heritage Days Arts & Crafts Fair begins at Norris Park.
Not only is the Chamber embracing the High Plains Freedom Flight, but it is including other events in this year's promotion and celebration of Heritage Days.
Among the activities listed in this year's schedule are the SunRise Breeders & Open Futurity; the McCook-Gering football game; the Prairie Gold Car Show; the Baseball Showcase; the Bison Alumni Pep Rally; and the McCook Optimists Punt, Pass & Kick competition.
Those are all in addition to traditional Heritage Days favorites, including the Chamber's McCook National Mixer, the Norris Foundation Prayer Breakfast, the United Way 5k Run and Walk; the Norris Home Quilt Show, the Army Air Base Open House and the Veterans Memorial Service.
Adding even more excitement will be the Heritage Days Challenge, in which teams will compete in a toned-down version of Fear Factor and the Amazing Race, and a Saturday night show at the Fox featuring local musical talent. "McCook area singers will be taking us on a trip in song around to the U.S.," said Walt Sehnert, who is heading up arrangements for the show.
Whew! So much to do ... so much to see. It all adds up to an action-packed, fun-filled celebration of McCook's past, present and future. Clear your calendar and get yourselves some comfortable clothes. You're going to have to stay on the move to keep up with all of McCook's 2005 Heritage Days activities.