Among the points of interest near Omaha are Fontenelle Forest; Mormon Cemetery, the burial place of those who perished in the winter of 1846 to 1847; Fort Omaha, established in 1868; and Girls and Boys Town, a famous community established by Father Edward J. Flanagan for homeless or neglected girls and boys. The restored home of William Jennings Bryan, the U.S. political figure and three-time candidate for the U.S. presidency, is located in Lincoln. Red Cloud, the small town setting for many novels by the Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather, has 26 sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Other historic sites in the state include Fort Atkinson, the first military post in Nebraska; the Gothenburg Pony Express station; and the historic town of Brownville, on the Missouri River.
Ever since Buffalo Bill started his famous Wild West Show in the 1880s, rodeos have been a popular spectator sport. From the Nebraskaland Days and Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte to Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell, the tradition has been kept alive. A summer season of county fairs and horse races culminates in early September at the Nebraska State Fair in Lincoln. Many festivals are linked to the countries of origin of Nebraska’s early residents. A Czech festival in Wilber in August, Swedish festivals in Oakland and Stromsburg in June, an Italian festival in Omaha in July, Cinco de Mayo in May in Scottsbluff, and a Danish Christmas in Dannebrog are all part of Nebraska’s diverse character. Native American powwows include the Santee Sioux in June, Winnebago in July, and Omaha (at Macy) in August.
In Omaha the Rodeo and Stock Show in September is sponsored by the civic organization Ak-Sar-Ben, which is “Nebraska” spelled backward. One of the state’s liveliest events is the Ak-Sar-Ben Festival in October. Included in this festival are an elaborate parade and coronation ball.
Nebraska has 95 state parks and recreation areas. Among the most important state historical parks are Fort Robinson, near Crawford; Fort Kearny, the outpost that protected travelers on the Oregon Trail; Buffalo Bill’s Ranch, the home of William F. Cody for 30 years, in North Platte; and Arbor Lodge, the stately mansion of J. Sterling Morton, a territorial governor and originator of Arbor Day, in Nebraska City. "Nebraska" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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