Minden is the place to be at Christmas time. Since 1915 the stunning County Courthouse has been adorned with colored lights to celebrate the season and has been known as “The Christmas City.” In addition, presented annually on the Courthouse Square, Minden’s “Light of the World” Christmas pageant has been a tradition for over 60 years. The performance culminates in the lighting of over 10,000 Christmas lights around the square. The lights can be seen nightly beginning Thanksgiving weekend. The “Light of the World” performances are held Saturday evening of Thanksgiving weekend and the first two Sundays in December.
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Constructed in 1891, this historical tribute to area arts and culture was completely renovated in 1999-2000 to serve as an attractive community center for theatrical productions, concerts, art shows and much more.
You have to see it to believe it… The largest private collection of Americana anywhere. The Pioneer Village complex comprises 28 buildings on 20 acres housing over 50,000 irreplaceable items of historical value, restored to operating order.
The Sandhill Cranes
Every spring, the Platte River Valley is filled with visitors, both the human and the bird varieties. Almost 500,000 sandhill cranes, or 90 percent of the world’s population of the birds, migrate through the region, and people from all over the world come to view the spectacular animals.
Rowe Sanctuary offers guided trips to view the world’s largest concentration of sandhill cranes from observation blinds on the banks of the Platte River in south central Nebraska.
Fort Kearny Historical Park
Ft. Kearny was the first military post built to protect the Oregon Trail emigrants. The fort remained an important wayside throughout the emigration period. Many pioneers purchased food at the fort, and nearly everyone took advantage of the fort’s reliable mail service. In late May as many as 2,000 emigrants and 10,000 oxen might pass through in a single day.
Kearney County Historical Museum
Located in the County Seat of Minden, the Kearney County Historical Museum has a wealth of information on the history of the county, as well as the specific towns in Kearney County. Many school pictures, general interest pictures, books, magazines, and school rosters can be viewed, as well as four preserved historical buildings: Minden Schoolhouse, Kearney County Store and Post Office, Railroad Depot from Keene, and a Country Schoolhouse. Located just one block east of Hwy 10 or one block west and one block north of the city square. Admission is free of charge and the museum is open daily from 1:00 – 4:00 pm June 1 – September 15 or by appointment. For information call 308.832.1789 or 308.743.2223.
Although the Sacramento-Wilcox WMA is located just outside of Kearney County, it is only about 2 1/2 miles west of Wilcox. Accessible by paved road from Holdrege and Wilcox, “Sac” serves as a waterfowl refuge and as a public hunting area. Approximately 500 of its 2,313 acres are designated as refuge, leaving 1,800 acres open to hunting all other game birds and animals.