Culinary events whet the appetite
It should come as no surprise that Nebraska has a knack for growing things. Long known for producing some of the nation’s finest corn, wheat and beef, Nebraska is also the home of award-winning vineyards and wineries. This month, we highlight food, wine and cultural events to give travelers a tasty tour of the state.
Ponca State Park, Ponca, May 5–6 This is a hands-on cooking workshop for all levels of al fresco chefs. Participants can choose from a variety of classes, including grilling, smoking, fish cleaning, jerky and sausage making, campfire cooking and wild edibles. After a day in classes, outdoor chefs will work use their new skills to create Saturday’s evening meal. On Sunday morning, they’ll compete in a friendly breakfast competition.
Platte River Mall, North Platte, May 11–12This smokin’ festival will appeal to meat lovers of all ages. The competitive event features barbecue purveyors from Nebraska, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming hawking ribs, brisket, pork, chicken and more.
The Bricks, Downtown Kearney, May 18–19 Back for its fifth year, the Nebraska Wine & Jazz Festival invites oenophiles to sample wines from 14 Nebraska wineries while savoring the smooth sounds of Nebraska jazz. The outdoor festival, held in Kearney’s historic Bricks district, will also feature beer from Kearney’s Thunderhead Brewing Company, as well as non-alcoholic beverages and food from local vendors. 2012’s featured performers include nationally recognized vocalist Susie Thorne and blues and jazz guitarist George Walker.
Heartland of America Park and Lewis & Clark Landing, Omaha, June 1–3 Local chowhounds can get a taste of all that Omaha has to offer at the 15thannual Taste of Omaha festival. Attendees can eat their way through Omaha’s most beloved restaurants and try a variety of dishes, including American, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean, Polish and Asian. Foodies will delight in demonstrations by Omaha’s top chefs on a special chef stage. The free event also offers live music and a special kids’ zone.
Downtown, Eustis, June 9 Put on your lederhosen or dirndl and head to Eustis for Wurst Tag—like Oktoberfest, but in June! Celebrating Eustis’ German heritage, this daylong festival includes a volksmarch, the crowning of a local Burgermeister and Burgermeistereen, and a sausage-stuffing contest. The day’s events culminate with a full, authentic German dinner and dance. Find more upcoming events at VisitNebraska.gov.