Organizers of Oregon Trail Days announced that the community celebration has been rescheduled for Aug. 21-22. The celebration is normally held in July, but officials announced last month that it would be postponed.
Committee chairman Tracey Bentley told the Courier Monday the 99th edition of the festival will begin Friday, Aug. 21 with the car show on the streets of downtown Gering.
Tentatively, Saturday will be led by the parade at 10 a.m., and will also include a bike climb at Scotts Bluff National Monument and horseshoe tournament at Oregon Trail Park. The craft show will also be held Saturday at Legion Park.
Bentley said to help allow for some social distancing, the parade will extend past its normal route. The parade will still begin along 10th Street at U Street, but this year will extend to J Street before making a right turn. The route will finish up at 13th Street.
An art show is scheduled for the Legacy of the Plains Museum Friday and Saturday.
All of the events are contingent upon the governor’s directed health measures allowing them to take place. Currently, parades aren’t allowed under the current DHM, but Bentley is hoping they will be allowed by the scheduled dates.
“We just have to get going on the planning,” Bentley said. “We can’t plan it all in two weeks, but we can sure cancel it in two weeks if we had to.”
Bentley said waiting for word from the governor’s office and agencies such as Panhandle Public Health have made the planning process difficult, but said he and the committee are happy to have a date.
“We definitely want to have it,” Bentley said. “It’s very important to keep it going this year because it is our 99th. We have big plans for next year for the 100th, but you can’t have a 100 if you don’t have a 99.”
Oregon Trail Days is normally scheduled for the second weekend in July, and Bentley said he expects the August date will have smaller attendance with college students headed back to school and public schools beginning classes around that same time.
Bentley said the Oregon Trail Days committee has a love for the community and wanted to make sure the event goes on, albeit limited, for the people of the town who look forward to it.
While not an official part of Oregon Trail Days, a concert for Saturday, July 11, has been postponed until July 10, 2021. According to KNEB Radio, all tickets purchased will be automatically valid for the new date. Refund options are also available.