You would think that with Firecracker Frenzy just a few days ago and ESI Camp and Balloon Days a couple short weeks away that we wouldn’t have time to work on anything else.

That is definitely not the case.

Last Friday, Hannah sent the schedule of Yorkfest events and sponsor lists to the York News-Times so their staff can begin compiling the fantastic event book that has proven to be a wonderful event guide for the entire weekend. Our office staff literally begins working on the next year’s event when the current year concludes and the first thing that we do is coordinate our deadlines with YNT and fashion all other timelines from that. This has really proven to work well for all of us.

This year’s Yorkfest theme is Back to the Future, Yorkfest 2019, celebrating 40 years. One of the long-standing parts of the celebration is the Yorkfest king and queen selection. This process has been adjusted over the years. Most recently, we have made it possible for the general public vote on the king and queen and the coronation has been a public event so the entire community is able to celebrate with the newly crowned king and queen.

Now is the time to let us know if there is someone that would be a wonderful candidate for Yorkfest royalty. Candidates will need to be: A resident of the city of York, be at least 40 years old, have a proven record of outstanding community work either through their occupation and/or volunteer work, available to be a part of the event Sept. 5 – 8. This along with the PeeWee Pet contest at the York County Fair and the Holiday Festival (Nov. 21) are the only time commitments we ask of the Yorkfest royalty. Royalty are welcome to seek out more events to participate in but this is not required. The Chamber Ambassador Chairperson will contact you to ask if a candidate wishes to be notified of Ambassador events. Participation is optional and not required. Coronation will be Thursday, Sept. 5 on Nebraska Avenue and Sixth Street, between 5-7 p.m. Royalty brunch will be Friday, Sept. 6, 10:30 a.m., at the York Area Senior Center. The grand parade will be Saturday morning, Sept. 7. Chamber staff will contact nominees to ask if they accept the nomination. There are several times that nominees decline because they feel their service is something they do of their hearts and they do not want recognition for it. I am always very touched by this. Yorkfest royalty nominations can be made by going to or you can stop in the chamber office to pick up a form.

We are excited to tell you about a few new events that will be happening after the parade on Saturday, Sept. 7. We will be hosting a large Husker watch party under the tent that will be located at Eigth and Lincoln Avenue. Lichti’s TV and Appliance Center is helping us by bringing in four large televisions so the Huskers vs. Colorado game can be seen. The York TeamMates chapter will be selling concessions that will be prepared by Grand Central Foods. The entire family is invited to come and watch the game. There is no fee to come into the gated area for the watch party. Offsides Tavern will be manning the beverage stations throughout the afternoon and evening.

After the Huskers beat the Buffs, we will be getting things ready for the evening’s entertainment. The opening act will get the night geared up at approximately 7:30 and then Nashville artist, CJ Solar and his band, will take the stage around 9 p.m. The concert is family friendly and the cost to attend is $10 per person. Our office will be sharing more events as we move closer to September.

Please make plans to join the fun of Balloon Days July 19 and 20. The weekend kicks off with an adult kickball tournament Friday evening, July 19. York Parks and Recreation will hold a kickball tournament under the lights. Each team can have 10-15 players. T-shirts will be given to the championship team. Games will be played at the York Ball Park Complex. A minimum of four teams are required for the tournament. Registrations can be found at or picked up at the community center. This is a 21 and over event since there will be alcohol involved. The cost is only $50 per team.

Start your Saturday off strong by getting to downtown York so you can be the first to snatch up the bargains being placed outside during the annual Sidewalk Sales. It always makes me smile when I see a young couple smiling after they purchased their first couch or someone found the perfect gift at one of the downtown boutiques. ESI Camp students will eagerly greet you at their “stores.” They will be selling their products that were manufactured throughout the weeklong camp. ESI is an entrepreneur camp aimed towards middle school students. The program is from the Nebraska Extension and is implemented in communities around the state. York County Development and the Chamber along with York Public Schools partner together on this program. In an effort to keep the cost manageable for families, several businesses have come on board to sponsor. I would ask that you join us in thanking those that have chosen to support the students of York: Cornerstone Bank, Dickey’s BBQ Pit, Nebraska Extension – York, Kopchos Sanitation, Inc., Southeast Community College – York Learning Center, York Printing Company, York Ace Hardware, C-Tec, Inc., Harmony Nursery, Mid-America Vision Center, Mogul’s Transmission, and York State Bank. Their dedication and commitment to our community is greatly appreciated.

Back by popular demand is Transportation Exploration! This will once again be held at York’s Holthus Convention Center. Kids of all ages are invited to check out the cool vehicles they see rolling around town. Everyone is encouraged to honk horns, run sirens and pretend to drive. York Parks and Recreation, The Chamber and York’s Holthus Convention coordinate this free family event. As the day continues, there are several places to stop and get a quick bite -- interstate locations as well as downtown restaurants are always happy to serve you.There will be picnic tables set up in front of Offsides for those that are downtown. In addition, Kona Ice will be across the street next door to Hairbenders Salon. This full day of fun will be capped off with the giant water balloon fight that will take place on Fifth Street. I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun this is. Families all join in the fun. If you just have little ones, don’t worry, we have an area just for them on the south side of the courthouse. The Emmanuel Outreach Team will also have popsicles for the kiddos.

The Chamber staff is thrilled to be part of such great events that celebrate our community of York! It is why we do what we do. #whatsyoury

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