Music and festivals at the center of attention | Grand Island Local News

Get ready to celebrate this weekend!

Whether it’s “Strong in a Small Town” in Ansley, “Bring on the Rain” in Callaway or Mardi Gras in Aurora, it’s time to party.

If it’s music you’re after, the Flatwater Music Festival west of Hastings kicks off tonight, and of course, it’s Hear Grand Island’s fourth week.

If you’re ready to get moving, Hear Grand Island will give you the pace to do so.

With bands from Denver, Lincoln and Omaha on stage, Railside Plaza will rock Friday night.

Public Figure of Omaha, playing “alternative punk and pop”, and Universe Contest of Lincoln, offering “static punk rock”, open the ball. The headliner of the event is Inthewhale, a hard rock duo from Denver. As the duo asks on their Facebook page: “Nebraska, are you ready to butt heads?” Pack your earplugs. We’ll see you soon!”

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Doors open at 6 p.m. and music plays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. DJesse from Broken Bow will serve as the DJ on duty for the evening.

This show for all ages is free; bring lawn chairs if you wish. The Summer Concert Series runs every Friday evening until August 5.

For more information, see the Hear Grand Island page on Facebook.

Flatwater Music Festival, Hastings

HASTINGS – The 15th annual Flatwater Music Festival takes place Friday and Saturday at the Prairie Loft Center for Outdoor and Agricultural Learning in Hastings.

The hours are from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday.

The main stage performances are set to a revamped trailer with roots that go back to USO performances in Nebraska. The festival takes place against the backdrop of agricultural fields. Mainstage concerts will feature award-winning bands from Nebraska and Colorado.

New Saturday events include the Family Magic Show with Mr. Magic Myers at 3:30 p.m. The Ukulele Jamboree with Hastings Community Music Academy will follow at 4 p.m.

Family areas include a sandpit, mud kitchen, natural playground, wooded trail, art activities, and lawn games.

All concerts, activities and workshops are included in the $10 admission (kids 10 and under admitted free). Food and drinks are available for purchase. Visitors can also shop for home decor, jewelry, art, face painting, henna art, and more in the historic barn.

There will be a variety of dishes from food trucks, as well as beer and kombucha from Hastings breweries.

Bring a lawn chair to enjoy the concerts. No smoking or vaping, no pets, no food or drink outside, please. Please carpool.

The planned main stage includes:

— 7 p.m. Emily Bass and the near-miracle

— 9 p.m. Rascal Martinez

— 2:00 p.m. The String Beans family concert

— 7 p.m.: The Cody Sisters

— 9 p.m.: The Talbott Brothers (presented by Pinnacle Bank of Hastings and Five Points Bank of Hastings)

Proceeds from the event support the educational programs of Prairie Loft, which organizes and hosts the event.

Prairie Loft is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to teach appreciation for agriculture, outdoor education, cultural connections and the wise use of natural resources.

For more information and a full schedule, visit or check out Prairie Loft’s Facebook page.

Prairie Loft Center is located at 4705 DLD Road in West Hastings. To get there, take Second Street West from Burlington Avenue, cross Marian Road, then turn south on Highland. Just after crossing the train tracks, turn west on DLD Road and drive a quarter mile.

‘A’Ror’N Days, Aurora

AURORA – And you thought Mardi Gras was months ago!

Well, technically it was, but if you couldn’t make it to New Orleans for the big party, you can catch up this weekend in Aurora.

A’Ror’N Days, an annual celebration hosted by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, kicked off Thursday and will continue through Sunday.

The Grand Parade is scheduled for Saturday noon, with a line-up starting at 10:30 a.m. at Aurora High School. A fireworks display begins at sunset Saturday at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds.

Other highlights of the Mardi Gras-themed weekend include:

Friday: Show and Shine Car Show, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; pork barbecue, 5 p.m., courthouse lawn; street dancing and outdoor film.

Saturday: Pancake Food, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., airport; Craft and Vendor Fair, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bremer Center; children’s activities and sports tournaments; and a street dance featuring Bases Loaded, 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Grandview.

Sunday: Orphan Grain Train burgers and brats, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 4-H building at the fairgrounds; and activities at the Edgerton Explorit Center, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Aurora is located approximately 20 miles east of Grand Island on Highway 34. For a full schedule of events, check out the A’Ror’N Days page on Facebook.

Nimble Thimble Quilt Guild Show, Aurora

AURORA — As part of the A’Ror’N Days program, the Nimble Thimble Quilt Guild will host its annual show, “How It Began…How It Happens,” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Plainsman Museum, 210 16th St.

This year, “How It Began” quilts will be presented by several young quilt artists from the community. Participants will have the chance to meet the artists at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Following the theme “How it started…”, members of the quilting guild will also share their beginner sewing projects. Their “How’s It Going” quilts will showcase the skills they’ve learned over the years. Special quilts will also be on display in remembrance of recently deceased member Maxine Bergen.

A highlight of the show will be Quilts of Valor presented to local veterans at 10 a.m. Saturday. The quilts are made by guild members, with funding from the Hamilton Community Foundation.

Members of the Quilt Guild will share these programs during the show:

Thursday: Carrés de charme and more, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Civil War quilts, 1:30 p.m.

Friday: Simplify cutting with the AccuQuilt Go machine, 10 a.m.; and Civil War quilts, 1:30 p.m.

A country store with ‘quilty’ items for sale and light refreshments complete the show. A $5 admission fee covers admission for all three days.

– “Strong in a Strong Town”, annual celebration of Muddy Creek, until Sunday, Ansley. Events include a parade (11 a.m. Saturday), games and activities for kids, an art exhibit, entertainment, food and more. Information: Muddy Creek Celebration on Facebook. Note: Ansley is located in Custer County, approximately one hour from Grand Island.

– Annual Callaway Pioneer Picnic, through Sunday, Morgan Park, Callaway. The event includes a parade (Saturday at 10:45 a.m.; the theme is “Bring the Rain”), alumni banquet, children’s activities and games, car show, train rides in Morgan Park, street dances and a rodeo. Information/hours: Callaway Chamber of Commerce on Facebook. Note: Callaway is also located in Custer County, approximately 45 miles west of Ansley.

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