BRAN passes through Box Butte County

A group of BRAN riders leaves Hemingford on Sunday morning, on their way to Alliance where they would camp at City Park over night. Ledger File photo by Lyle Fodnes

Some exciting news for the Village of Hemingford!

Hemingford was selected to be the starting point for the 2020 BRAN (Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska).

Making the event extra special this year is the fun fact that this is the 40th anniversary for the BRAN ride. The 2020 theme will be “Nebraska’s Best by Bicycle” so some ideas for Hemingford’s theme included Nebraska’s Best Small Town-Hemingford, Happy Birthday BRAN from your friends in Hemingford or incorporating Highway 2.

The rest of the route has not been announced at the time of publication as the Route Announcement Party was Wednesday, Nov. 13th from 5 to 7 p.m. in Omaha.

One thing that we do know is cyclists will be arriving in Hemingford on Friday, June 5th with the majority of the riders arriving on Saturday, June 6th. They will embark on the first leg of their journey Sunday morning.

Hemingford was chosen in 1997 as the starting place for the ride that year and passed thru the Village in 2010.

“I would like to be as proactive as possible in the planning stages so that the small things don’t fall through the cracks,” said Village Administrator Barb Straub. “If you have questions or comments or think of a piece of the puzzle that we could address please speak up.”

There will be a town hall type meeting on November 19th at 6 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Hall at the Box Butte County Fairgrounds. The public is invited to attend to learn about the event and have the opportunity to volunteer their time and talents to planning and executing the event. The goal is to make this a memorable event for both the BRAN riders and staff as well as the community of Hemingford

Some of the committees will need to be created; those committees are as follows but others could be created as the need arises:

1. Welcome Center

2. Facilities, Fairgrounds and School

3. Food Venders

4. Safety

5. Marketing

6. Entertainment

7. Communications, WIFI, phone charging

8. Parking

9. Environmental Services

“There is a swim meet in Hemingford on Saturday June 6th, with an anticipated 150-200 swimmers and their families,” Straub said. “It was decided that we would let Ammie Frost make the decision whether to go on with the swim meet or move it. Either way with organization and cooperation, both events can be successful.”

The first BRAN Planning Meeting was held on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Attending the meeting was Jessica Davies, Charles Isom, Marcie Thomas, Kay Bakkehaug, Joni Jespersen, Alaina Schaneman, Jim Miles, Holly Wade, Kathy Gettert, Amanda Knote, and Chelsie Herian.

E-mail information from BRAN Director Doug Scherlie was shared with the group. The handout included ideas for entertainment, food and lodging as well as some things that the group would need to have available.

“While the document was lengthy, I feel it is important to address each request and do what we can to meet the request,” Straub said. “I would like to be able to give Doug solid answers to each request and suggestion, allowing Doug and the BRAN organization to know ahead of time just what we can or cannot supply for their event.”

“I really would like this to show off Hemingford,” Straub said. “I’m really excited; it’s going to greatly impact Hemingford and our community.”

Please plan on attending the Town Hall BRAN Planning Meeting on November 19th at 6 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Hall at the Box Butte County Fairgrounds.

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