Even the rain, which had been a key concern for organizers, held off long enough to bring the 2008 Nebraska Cattlemen’s Ball to a successful conclusion last weekend.
Attendance of an estimated 3,900 ticket-holders made this year’s ball the best attended in its 11-year history. Hosted by the Niewohner family, it was held on a pasture bordering the Beaver Creek, northwest of Loretto, on Friday and Saturday, June 6-7.
Weather had been uncooperative in the weeks leading up to the Cattlemen’s Ball. Low lying areas along the Beaver Creek had flooded several times, and an approach to the new bridge leading to the site had washed out.
Crews from Niewohner Brothers, along with many volunteers, spent several days last week hauling in rock and crushed concrete to build up the access road.
Although some areas were a bit soggy, the pasture was accessible in time for Friday night’s Trail Boss Reception.
Sunny skies welcomed visitors on Saturday for events beginning at 9:30 a.m. with a Trail Boss Champagne Reception. The art show, silent auction, general store and concession stand also opened Saturday morning.
After the Trail Boss Brunch on Saturday, gates were opened to all ticket-holders, and afternoon activities included a casino, wine and cheese tasting, health screenings by Eppley Cancer Center personnel, style show, vocal performances, working dog demonstrations, quilt presentations and several auctions.
All ticket-holders gathered in the main tent at 5 p.m. for the prime rib supper, followed by raffle drawings, the concert by Diamond Rio and a dance.
During the evening program, Cattlemen’s Ball General Chairmen Ray Bennett, Kandi Bremer, Jeanne Reigle and Kurt Kruse presented a gift of appreciation to Delbert and Marilee Niewohner and their family for hosting the event. In turn, the Niewohners thanked the hundreds of volunteers who helped stage the ball.
Rain held off until about 10:30 p.m., after the Diamond Rio Concert had concluded. It made conditions a bit slippery for those leaving the grounds later, but help was