September 22, 2022 By Vaseline

Legacy’s Thanksgiving attracts a lot of people

House floats away due to heavy river flooding.

People flocked to the freshly plowed soil of the Legacy of the Plains on Saturday, September 18 to fill sacks with potatoes, view farm equipment and learn about history.

Hand, mule and machine potato harvesting took center stage at the 26th Annual Legacy of the Plains Harvest Festival. Dave Wolf, the executive director of the Legacy of the Plains Museum, said the crowd packing up potatoes was the largest he’d seen in a while.

“Many people came to dig potatoes. I really don’t know if we’ll have any after this weekend,” said Wolf.

Legacy's Thanksgiving attracts a lot of people

Year-old Aryanna Lovett searched for the perfect potato on Saturday, September 17 during the 26th Annual Harvest Festival at the Legacy of the Plains Museum.


Wolf and other volunteers manned a tent and sold three size bags so people could pick their own red potatoes.

“We could only get one variety of potato, russet, not the two we normally have,” said Tim Maxcy, a Legacy of the Plains volunteer. “We get the potatoes from a seed dealer in Alliance, he donates what he has left over.”

Two popular attractions were the Haystack Fortress and the Barrel Railway, geared towards small children. Kiel sisters Kiera (4) and Moana (5) raced over the bales while waiting for a vacant seat on the barrel train.

“They love it here, we come every year and they like (the Hay Fortress) and the animals very much,” said the girls’ mother.

The volunteers complemented the museum’s tractor display and circumnavigated the festival in true parade fashion. The tractor parade featured volunteers on horseback and in horse- or mule-drawn carts. You could see the volunteers explaining their not-so-modern farming equipment and letting people pet the horses.

Beyond the potatoes and tractors, shouts and screams could often be heard from the corn maze.

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A young girl weaves her way through the corn maze at the Legacy of the Plains Museum in Gering during the harvest festival Saturday. The corn maze was one of several attractions for families to enjoy.

Nicole Heldt Photos, Low Courier

Jessica and Sadie Gurnsey ran ahead of their father, eager to reach the end of the maze.

Jessica said she was just the right size to quickly slide down the corn trail.

“It’s fun, I’m not worried, we’ll be over soon,” she said.

Whether riding in a tractor-drawn wagon or walking through the festival, people could also take turns shaking hands, tasting “cowboy coffee” fresh off the fire, snow cones to taste the delicious smells, those from a food truck went out.

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Jack Bowman, a Legacy of the Plains Museum volunteer, gave rides to passengers and twirled the flag-decorated trailer in tight circles during the museum’s annual harvest festival on Saturday, September 17.

Nicole Heldt/low courier

Festival-goers could experience live demonstrations in the Smithy and time-travel in the Wiedeman House and Gentry Cabin.

Nancy Haney, a Legacy of the Plains Museum volunteer, could be found at the Wiedeman Farms historic home, sharing stories from the time the home was built and moved to the museum’s grounds.

“When the family said they really wanted to move, we had the basement remodeled as it was in 1930 and we made the upstairs as it would have been in the 1950s,” she said.

Haney greeted visitors to the historic home by pointing out a photo of David and Marie Wiedeman, who originally built the home.

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The barrel train was a popular attraction for children attending the Legacy of the Plains Harvest Festival on Saturday. Children enjoyed being pulled around the property over the bumpy terrain.

Nicole Heldt/low courier

“The countertop in the basement shows how small Frau Wiedeman really was,” she said.

People of all ages found the historic residential building to be the highlight of the festival. Emmett Aaberg shouted at his sister Allison to hurry down to the basement so he could show her something.

“Hurry up, you gotta get down here and see what’s really cool,” he said. “I think this is a father’s room. There’s all this cool stuff and a really soft hat.”

He commented that the 1930s-style long underwear looked like a jumpsuit and couldn’t believe a man would have worn them under pants.

Thanksgiving concluded on Sunday, September 18, beginning with a 9:00 am service. After the service, the potato picking continued and the celebrations lasted until 4:00 p.m