Red Cloud’s annual festival will feature its usual array of fun activities for locals and visitors alike. This year, however, we plan on paying homage to our Pioneer history and celebrate Nebraska’s sesquicentennial. This year’s parade will feature a restored, horse-drawn Street Car. When the parade concludes, the Street Car will be used to provide a tour of historic Red Cloud and re-enact the traditional route from the Burlington Depot to the McFarland Hotel, stopping by sites associated with Willa Cather along the way. We will pay homage to one-room school houses, with a “class” held at the Yost Farm School, a restored one-room school house. We will also feature reenactments of pioneer life, Chautauqua style presenters celebrating Red Cloud’s rich legacy (Willa Cather, Silas Garber, Cy Young, Dazzy Vance, William Norris, largest Pawnee settlement, etc), and a celebration of the various ethnicities that settled Webster County. There will be a food fair in the City Park featuring cuisine of the era. The Starke Round Barn–the largest “true” Round Barn in the world–will provide tours and describe agricultural methods and life during the early twentieth century. Visitors will also get a glimpse of what the untouched prairie looked like to settlers by touring the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie.
In addition to these Heritage Tourism related events, Street Car Days will feature a production by the Missoula’s Children Theatre at the Red Cloud Opera House, a pancake feed at the Red Cloud Airport, a free BBQ hosted by the Red Cloud Fire Department and burger feed by the Red Cloud EMTs. Fishing contests, a free concert, and games and vendors in the park will also be featured.