This week we hosted a meeting with event coordinators for York’s annual community celebration, Yorkfest.

We reviewed last year’s schedule of events while discussing plans for this year. At the beginning of the conversation, we reminded everyone that York is celebrating 150 years and bringing that into our theme would be important. As the conversation continued, we all kept coming back to the fact that Yorkfest can be our “birthday party”.

I moved here in 1985 and have enjoyed several years of Yorkfest. My best memories have been the years my children actively participated in the weekend. They have been part of the parade as participants for local businesses and school or sold concessions when they were involved with York Area Children’s Choir. In addition to the parade, our family has actively supported the groups/organizations that put their time into hosting events during the weekend.

Yorkfest is a fantastic time for area groups to host activities to bring awareness and possibly fund-raise. If there is one overarching statement that guests and new residents to the community use it’s that “York is an extremely supportive community”. We show up and participate in events that are designed to strengthen the core of our community. Are you hosting an event September 10 – 12? Would you like for it to be included with the Yorkfest weekend? If so, we would love to hear from you. All Yorkfest events will have to be received by our office no later than Friday, June 19.

Next Thursday, March 19 will be the annual Youth Involvement Fair. The City Auditorium will be open from 5 – 7 p.m. that evening for families to come and visit with area organizations about activities for children and families. There are close to 30 groups that are registered. The Junior LEGO League will have projects on display and the Emmanuel-Faith Students are ready to serve families dinner at their concession stand in the North Dining Room. As of today, the businesses and organizations that are registered to attend are: Nebraska Extension in York County 4-H, York Public Schools Summer Program, York High School Golf & Tennis, Kirby’s School of Dance, Wessels Living History Farm, York County 4-H Claybusters Trap Team, Timberlake Ranch Camp, Nebraska Evangelical Lutheran High School, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Corteva Agri Science, Boy/Cub Scouts Pack#174, Boy/Cub Scouts Pack#174, Kilgore Memorial Library, York Area Children’s Museum, York Dukes Boys Basketball, Cub Scout Pack #173, York Parks & Rec, York Chamber of Commerce, Emmanuel 8th Graders/Concession, Cellular Advantage, Girl Scouts, Yorkshire Playhouse, York County Relay for Life, First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Four Corners Health Department, York Dance Center, York Dolphins Swim Team, York Optimist Baseball Program, and York Youth Soccer. The Chamber proudly partners with York Parks and Recreation to serve the York Community with this event.

As we wind down the month of March (yes, I did say that… ARGH!), the Young Professionals (YP) want to remind everyone they are hosting Lattes with Leaders on March 31 at 7 a.m. Captain Red Beards is the location for this regular gathering. Lattes has been a time to hear from one of York’s leaders about their story and how York has made an impact on them. Young Professionals are excited to welcome Dr. Steve Eckman from York College to share with the group.

Kicking off the month of April we want to remind everyone about Flavors of York County. Thursday, April 2, the Leadership York Class will host the annual event at York’s Holthus Convention Center. The event raises funds for area non-profit organizations. This year, the group has chosen area Backpack Programs and a Scholarship that will be awarded to a 2020 York High School Senior. Tickets are now available for only $15 in advance. All the members of the Leadership York class have tickets with them and there are also tickets available at the Chamber Office and on-line.

In addition to Flavors, York County Development Corporation along with the Chamber will host an Adult Involvement Fair. This will also take place at the Convention Center during the early portion of the Flavors event. Derek Dauel, with YCDC, noted there are over twenty non-profit organizations that have committed to taking part in the event. The concept is very similar to the Youth Involvement Fair but geared for adults. The organizations will be present to visit with event-goers about their missions and share how we can serve them and our community.

York’s Young Professionals will be celebrating National Young Professionals Week April 20 – 24. On Monday, April 20 at 12 noon have lunch with the York Fire Department and take a tour. Lunch is Free to YP members and $5 for non-members. Tuesday, April 21 at 7 a.m. ‘Wake Up With YP’ at Chances R. There will be coffee, rolls, fruit and conversation. Cost is $5 for non-members and free to YP members. Wednesday, April 22 celebrate Earth Day and unplug for a minimum of two hours. Thursday, April 23 ‘Spread kindness and be Nebraska Nice’ with a random act of kindness. Close out the week of celebration on Friday, April 24 at 7 p.m. Come enjoy Trivia Night at the Elks Club. Eat Drink and Tease your brain. Cost is $5 for non-members and free to YP members. I am thankful for the Young Professionals and their outreach efforts to the York area.

And finally, I want to acknowledge the great work that Four Corners Health Department has done and is currently doing to keep York and surrounding areas informed and healthy. Their work with employers, health professionals and the community has been very apparent as we all notice the reasonable efforts that have been put in place to keep everyone healthy. I encourage everyone to continue to be vigilant about good hand washing and alternative communication avenues as we move through the spring months. I know as always; York residents will make sure they are taking good care of themselves and their neighbors.

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