PLATTSMOUTH – It may sound corny, but the annual Plattsmouth Harvest Festival always brings back bushels of memories.
It certainly does for Terry Little.
“I was king in 2012,” he said. “It was quite an honor to represent the community. There are so many in the community deserving to be king and queen.”
What’s considered the oldest, continuous harvest festival in Nebraska starts today (Thursday) through Sunday with most events along Main Street in downtown Plattsmouth.
“It’s still popular,” Little said. “It’s kept alive by a dedicated group of people that keep the spirit of the festival alive with new events.”
This year’s theme is Heroes of the Harvest, submitted by Stacie Kragness and one of 25 different entries.
“The focus is on those who serve the public, such as law enforcement, EMS and the fire department,” Little said. “They deserve recognition, along with those who assisted in flood relief and reaching out to families in need. It’s recognizing those who reach out to others, the unsung heroes, especially this year.”
Just because the events are in Plattsmouth doesn’t mean it’s just for local folks, Little stressed.
“It’s still for all of Cass County. The festival welcomes all from the county to participate.”
It has certainly attracted many from beyond the county, according to a local tourism official.
“We have an event that pulls in people from all over,” said Carl Reichart, executive director for Cass County Tourism.
This event is posted on his website and listed in the printed tourism guide, Reichart said.
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Cindy Cruse, executive director of the Plattsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, added, “It’s another way to promote our community and let people see the downtown area. People get to see the businesses there. It’s also a big draw for the alumni from the schools.”
The chamber is again sponsoring the Battle of the Bags Cornhole Tournament that began last year, Cruse said.
“It was very good last year,” she said. “We had 38 teams and we’re hoping to get more this year.”
That event will be held on Friday at 6:30 p.m. with check-in at 5:45 at Fourth and Main streets.
As always, the festival will host a wide variety of family activities, including an egg toss on Friday, a talent show, carnival rides and craft shows.
Because of water restrictions, the Plattsmouth Fire Department will not hold a water fight this year, but will put on tactical demonstrations on Saturday afternoon.
Chicken chariot races, popular in the past, will not be held this year due to a lack of donated chickens, Little said.
The big event, of course, is the Grand Parade on Saturday at 6 p.m.
This year, the route of the Grand Parade will go from east to west with a new sound system in the hopes more people will easily hear the entries, according to Little. He urged people to bring lawn chairs and consider watching it near the county courthouse, though they could watch it from anywhere on Main Street.
The parade will start on Third Street and head west on Main to Sixth Street.
The route of Friday's parade will remain the same as in previous years, from west to east, beginning at Sixth Street.