NEBRASKA CITY – The Steamboat Trace Festival and Gran Fondo will get underway Friday night with a banquet at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center.
The 6 p.m. banquet will feature a welcome from each of the three historic communities along the 21-mile rock-chip trail.
Event Organizer Kelly Bequette said the banquet is intended to celebrate Nebraska and the trail system past and present.
Bequette: “Anyone can attend. We’re hoping that it’s people from southeast Nebraska who enjoy the trail and want to celebrate it and people who are coming to ride the Gran Fondo the next day.”
Bill Clemente, who has photographed flora and fauna on the trail for a quarter century, will present a slide show.
Bequette said she hopes up to 100 riders will gather at Arbor Lodge for an 8:30 a.m. start for the Gran Fondo.
Bequette: “Everybody needs to get out there. It’s a t-shirt, a super-duper t-shirt and a water bottle and coupons for each town. This week, hopefully, the weather will be good and everybody can celebrate and have a great time on the trail.”
She said riders do not need to pre-register, but it’s easy to do at Steamboat Trace dot com.
Each stop on the trail is hosting special events.
Old Time Autumn in Brownville includes Flatwater Folk Art, Heritage Tree Presentation at 10:45 a.m. and the Brownville Village Theater’s 2 p.m. debut of Willa Cather’s “The Resurrection.”
A hospitality stop is at the trailhead in Peru, the Museum of Nebraska Art is at the Peru State College campus and the Doc Gigstad bench dedication is at 11 a.m.
Nebraska City events are planned at Arbor Day Farm and Kimmel Orchard. Family activities are planned at Memorial Way in the downtown.