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Greetings from Historic Red Cloud: Great Stories Grow Here! 

Set amid brick-lined streets, charming homes, historic buildings, and the immense beauty of the prairie, Red Cloud offers a glimpse into a storied American past while maintaining a progressive vision for the future. Great stories start in Red Cloud--add your own chapter today!

66th Annual Spring Willa Cather Conference to focus on Cather and Popular Print Culture; Unveil renovations to historic properties 

This year's Willa Cather Spring Conference will once again be brought to you from Red Cloud and transmitted digitally throughout the world. Please join the Willa Cather Foundation June 3-5 as we learn more about Willa Cather's work as a magazine editor and nonfiction contributor.

Conference registration and events are taking place via Whova, a powerful and interactive mobile conference platform and app that allows conference-goers to interact with all participants. You will find more information on our Spring Conference page. If you'd like to join the festivities in Red Cloud, you are more than welcome! There are several in-person events on Saturday, June 5, and some virtual events will also be broadcast in the Red Cloud Opera House. This year's keynote speaker will be Radhika Jones, editor in chief of Vanity Fair magazine. The June 5th events include open houses at the newly renovated Burlington Depot as well as the Pavelka Farmstead

Click here for the the Special WCF Spring Conference Newsletter to learn more details. 

Students and first-time attendees may register using the discount code: "welcome21" to save 50% on their registration fee. 


Red Cloud set to welcome home alumni

After cancelling last year due to a global pandemic, plans are in place to help make up for lost time. We encourage all alumni to come home and  celebrate memories with cherished classmates and friends, regardless of whether or not you are in an honored class. There will be plenty of things to do and people to see and you will want to check out all of the progress going on in Red Cloud

The weekend will kickoff on Friday, May 28th at 5pm with a Garden Party hosted by the Red Cloud Community Fund (RCCF) at The Kaley House, home of Jay Yost and Wade Leak. At 6:30pm, RCCF leaders will give a 15 minute presentation featuring some of the progress happening in Red Cloud and introduce this year's scholarship winners! 

Be sure to sign up now for the Red Cloud Recreation & Health Committee's RC Color Run & 5K which will start at 8am sharp on the morning of Saturday, May 29th. The Red Cloud Athletic Association's annual Putt-Putt Fundraiser will also occur on the 29th with registration beginning at 10:30am and score cards needing to be turned in by 4:30pm. The evening will wind up with the 66th RCHS Alumni Banquet at the Red Cloud Community Center. Social hour will begin at 5pm. Tours of The Valley Child Development Center and the future site of the Hotel Garber will also be available. See the alumni weekend flyer for more details. 

On Sunday, May 30th, be sure to stick around and check out local businesses, many of which are new to the community! Scroll down to see a flyer with details about a "Sunday Fun Day" shopping event throughout downtown Red Cloud. 

Be sure to stop by and visit the Webster County Historical Museum as well as it will have free admission from 1pm to 5pm on both the 29th & 30th. You will want to check out Mike McCartney's classic toy collection on display in the exhibit building! 

Red Cloud fosters community of giving

Like many young Nebraskans, National Willa Cather Center Executive Director Ashley Olson returned to her hometown to build a life in the community that raised her. She’s grateful to have found her place in Red Cloud, where she also serves on the Red Cloud Community Fund’s advisory committee.

“I feel like a lot of young people who grow up in rural Nebraska are eager to get out and make their way in the world,” she said. “It didn’t take me long to realize I wanted to come back some day.”

Since her return, Olson has joined her neighbors in making Red Cloud shine brighter than ever. The community cultivates a collaborative spirit, exemplified by partnerships between the Willa Cather Foundation, city officials, RCCF, and the Chamber of Commerce. One such effort resulted in the hiring of a tourism director who has furthered Red Cloud’s position as a cultural touchstone for Nebraska. Another group effort led to the 2018 opening of The Valley Child Development Center, a state-of-the-art early childhood education center.

Those successes exemplify the all-for-one, one-for-all spirit in Red Cloud. Everyone is in it together, and that’s an attitude RCCF encourages.


Congratulations to RCHS Class of 2021! 

Red Cloud's latest batch of seniors graduated on May 8th. We are proud of them and know they will do amazing things. We hope they go out and see the world and that they know they are always welcome to come back home and do amazing things as well! Pictured from L to R (Front Row): Tarissa Minnick, Kaydence Baker, Alison Davis, Taigan Trew, Deanna Thomas, Hunter Watts. Back row L to R: Cristina Rodriguez, Kaile Billinger, Berrick Hersh, Corbin Hoit, Tate Schriner, Matthew Sepeda, Kassidy Uhrich, and Bethany Stocker. Click here to see a video of the ceremony and here to see a video of 2020-21 activities.  

Carson McCleary wins Gold Medal in 300 meter hurdles in the Class D State Track Championship

OMAHA — It’s been a long time since a Red Cloud boys athlete has claimed a gold medal, but that’s exactly what Carson McCleary did on Thursday, May 20th, 2021.

On the final day of the Class D state track and field meet, the Warriors’ junior cruised past the rest of the field in the 300 hurdles, taking first place with a time of 41.12 seconds.

“It feels good. The whole way around the track, I was like, ‘I know I have the top time, but that doesn’t mean anything. Every race is a different race,’ ” McCleary said after going into finals with the best time. “Someone could hit a hurdle and be out of place. It just feels so good to be first.”


Cheyenne Knehans and Jocelyn Shipman named Hometown Interns for Summer 2021

The Red Cloud Community Fund was fortunate enough to secure two interns as part of the Nebraska Community Foundation's (NCF) "Hometown Intern" program. Cheyenne Knehans (pictured above, left) will intern for Red Cloud Tourism & Commerce/Heritage Tourism Development. Knehans will work on a variety of potential community improvement projects and will either assist or lead the design of a visitors' guide and visualizations of downtown development projects and is actively involved with a community examining the possibility of a recreation trail system. Shipman (pictured above, right) will intern for The Valley Child Development Center where she will assist with various summer camps and help oversee the development of children in the Red Cloud community and surrounding areas. 

According to NCF, "A hometown intern is a current college student who lives at home for the summer. The intern will discover and document the assets and abundance of their homeplace. They will help to facilitate conversations with community members regarding these assets and opportunities, and they will co-create opportunities to mobilize these local assets to increase community quality of life." 
Red Cloud in the News
Garden Party at The Kaley House
May 28, 2021
RCHS Alumni Banquet
May 29, 2021
Hotrods at the Hospital
June 26, 2021
RC Color Run  
May 29, 2021
Conway Insurance 4 Person Scramble
June 5, 2021
Street Cars Days/RC's 150th B-day Party 
August 6-8, 2021

Red Cloud Legends
William Norris
CEO, Control Data Corporation

Born and raised on a farm near Inavale, Norris was one of the most important figures in the early history of modern computer technology. Click on the photo to learn more about this pioneer who helped develop some of the world's first supercomputers.  
Free Community Events at the Spring Cather Conference! 
Take a tour and see the updates at the Burlington Depot and the Pavelka Farmstead
June 5, 2021
View All Events
Congratulations to Sterling Frey and Berrick Hersh, recipients of this year's Red Cloud Community Fund scholarships. Not pictured is Brooklyn Kohmetscher of Lawrence (Blue Hill High School) who was the recipient of this year's Clint Erickson Memorial Scholarship. Frey and Hersh are pictured here with RCCF member Ashley Armstrong. 
Support local businesses in our historic downtown!!!
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Copyright © *2021* *Red Cloud Tourism & Commerce*, All rights reserved.
*Volume 5.5 You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website.

Our mailing address is:
Red Cloud Tourism & Commerce
413 N. Webster St. 
Red Cloud, NE 68970 
Additional Photos: 
Yost/Leak Collection, Nebraska Community Foundation, Shannon Schriner, Amy Roh/Hastings Tribune, Red Cloud Chief


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Downtown Red Cloud in the 1950s! If you have any old photos of Red Cloud you'd like to share--from any time before 2000, please send them our way. Send photos to the following address: If you have something you're interested in submitting to a local archive please contact Tracy Tucker at the Willa Cather Foundation or Teresa Young at the Webster County Historical Museum.