‘There’s No Place Like Alliance’

Community Celebrates Heritage Days


With a week filled with activities, Heritage Days 2019 celebrated the community of Alliance, commemorating the Wizard of Oz with the theme “There’s No Place Like Alliance.”

The week’s events kicked off on Tuesday with the naming of the Dave Randolph as the Grand Marshal. Following the announcement, family night offered saw many nonprofits coming together to offer people of all ages a night out in the park. The night wrapped up with a free showing of the movie “Wonder Park” in Central Park, courtesy of Holiday Inn Express.

“Family night was a huge success,” said Alliance Chamber of Commerce Director Susan Unzicker. “We had around 24 nonprofits show up for the event.”

Wednesday saw the start of sidewalk sales that would last throughout the week, as well as the Frazier Shows Carnival. On Wednesday evening, people gathered at Newberry’s for the LipSync Battle. The winners of the battle were Keep Alliance Beautiful, with a team made up of KAB Director Kathy Worley, Kyle McCarville, Dave Pearse and Liz Johnston. Their victory marks the second year in a row KAB has won. The cash prize of $250 was donated to KAB.

On Thursday, the 7th Street Dancers performed in front of Bank of the West. Their performance was follwed by the United Way Game Showcase at Newberry’s.

Friday morning started with fun activities for youth at the Alliance High School practice field, with kids games sponsored by the Machinist Lodge #602. A new event this year was the pedal tractor pull for kids, which took place in the 200 block of Box Butte Avenue. The day wrapped up with Bands on the Bricks, featuring Nate Whartman and Camp Comfort.

On Saturday morning, the Band Road Run began the day at 7:30 a.m. At 10 a.m., the 2019 Heritage Days Parade, sponsored by the Alliance Times-Herald, saw many floats entered, displaying the Wizard of Oz theme.

In the youth category, first place went to the Alliance Recreation Center, with the Girl Scouts coming in second. In the commercial category, Box Butte General Hospital claimed first place, with Highland Park earning second. In the non-commercial category, Pillars for the Park were announced as the winners, with Northwest Community Action taking second place.

Right after the parade was a BBQ lunch at the Masonic Lodge, as well as a doughnut eating contest. At 2 p.m., there was a cornhole tournament, with proceeds going toward Autumn on the Bricks. The evening saw a lot of action, with two bands taking to the Iron Horse District for Bands on the Bricks: Mike Pancost and Valhalla.

The week wrapped up with Sunday in the Park, featuring live entertainment, team roping at the Double L Arena, the Carnegie’s Art in the Park, and the 11th Annual John Whitecrane 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.

“Overall, Heritage Days went well, despite the hot weather,” Unzicker said. “We’ve been thinking about next year. We already have some plans in the works for next year to try to include a few more things. It is the 100th celebration of the bricks, so that may be tied into the theme a little bit.

“It’s very beneficial for Alliance,” Unzicker said. “Even though we do have food vendors, people do purchase from our local grocery stores, they buy gas and stay in our hotels. It does contribute economically to our town.”

Unzicker expressed her gratitude to the sponsors of Heritage Days for making the celebration possible.