North Platte Canteen Festival
In 2021 the First Annual North Platte Canteen Festival was held to highlight the patriotism, volunteerism, and discovery of the World War II Canteen. Following the success of this event, we are pleased to announce that we will be celebrating this rich history again!
The Second Annual North Platte Canteen Festival on Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 9th, 2022, in the newly revitalized Historic Canteen District.
On December 17, 1941, North Platte residents gathered at the Union Pacific Depot because they heard that a troop train carrying their own boys would be coming through. When the train stopped, none of their boys were to be found, but instead there were soldiers from Kansas. After a moment of disbelief, one person stepped forward and gave their presents to the troops and everyone else soon followed. The happiness expressed by the soldiers sparked an idea. The residents of North Platte and the surrounding communities followed the lead of their ancestors in World War I by opening a Canteen at the depot. This endeavor lasted for 54 months, involved 55,000 volunteers, and served more than 6 million service men and women during its duration. This was one of the largest volunteer efforts of World War II. When an impact like that has been made, it is important to keep that story and heritage alive.
Visit North Platte, the Downtown Association, the Lincoln Country Historical Museum, and the North Platte Community Playhouse are pleased to be bringing back ‘A Sentimental Musical Journey’ which will be performed at the North Platte Community Playhouse on Saturday, October 8th at 2:00pm and again on Sunday, October 9th at 2:00pm. This show will take you through the music of the World War II era, celebrating a mistake which turned into one of history’s largest wartime volunteer efforts: The North Platte Canteen. Come get “In the Mood” with North Platte’s own Glenn Miller style big band and vocalists who will “Sing, Sing, Sing.” We would like to invite everyone to experience the magic of the WWII Canteen at this exciting event. Advance tickets can be purchased here!
There will also be a newly added Fall Market & Art Show taking place in the Canteen District on Saturday, October 8th from 9:00am-4:00pm. Here you will be able to explore a variety of high-quality art, crafts, and food vendors. This event is free and open to the public!
Also new to this celebration will be a Big Band Street Dance from 7:00pm-10:00pm on Saturday, October 8th. Get your dancing shoes ready to travel back in time. Located in the heart of downtown, enjoy a good ‘ol fashioned street dance with a live band performing famous 1940’s tunes. This event is free and open to the public!
Proceeds will be donated to the Lincoln County Historical Museum to further their World War II Canteen exhibit which will continue to spread this story of volunteerism and patriotism for generations to come.