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Coloring books have been around for ages. These past few years the coloring book craze has been attracting all ages, from kids, teens, and even adults. Coloring books can help with a number of emotional and mental health issues and help also get rid of boredom. It allows individuals to remove the focus from the negative issues and helps them focus on something safe and productive. Coloring is a rhythmic activity that calms the brain of all ages and folks of all abilities.

We know that life currently is full of uncertainty and can feel overwhelming, so we want to give you a chance to escape reality and explore Kearney with our Kolor Kearney coloring book! This first book features 8 different pages full of Chamber and Kearney favorites.

Page 1. The Archway

The Archway was originally conceived by Frank Morrison, the 31st Governor of Nebraska, who served from 1961-1967. It was his dream to create an enduring monument to the adventurers who followed the Great Platte River Road and helped to build America.

Imagine the daring and determination of the people who first traveled the Oregon Trail, the high-spirited adventure of racing to California during the Gold Rush of 1849, the devotion of the Mormons who moved west in search of religious freedom, the entrepreneurial spirit that lead to the creation of the Pony Express, the industry that built the Transcontinental Railroad and the cooperative effort that lead to the creation of “America’s Main Street,” the Lincoln Highway and the Interstate Highway System. Individuals of vision and courage found ways to work together to turn their dreams into reality and to contribute to an enterprise that was much bigger than themselves. The Archway tells this evocative story and seeks to inspire current day adventurers to face today’s challenges with courage and tenacity in order to continue to build a nation in which we can all take justifiable pride. The Archway’s historical exhibit, shop, theater and event room are housed in a dramatic structure that spans I-80 at Exit 275. The building’s exterior was designed to emulate a covered bridge. The colors on the arch’s surface represent those of a Midwest sunrise.

Talk about American ingenuity! The engineers in charge of building the Archway were faced with the challenge of erecting a 1,500 ton structure that would eventually be suspended above one of the most heavily traveled highways in the Midwest without impeding the regular flow of traffic. They decided that the best way to accomplish their task would be to build the two supporting towers on either side of the highway and build the arch portion of the structure separately, at ground level, near the highway. When all of the elements were ready, the most complex segment of the project was implemented. First, using hydraulic jacks, the arch section of the building was lifted 22.5 feet in the air. Then, it was jacked horizontally on to heavy duty, self-propelled modular transporters that would carry the structure across the highway. The process of lifting the structure on to the transporters took eight days.

On August 16, 1999, a section of the interstate was closed and at 10:00pm, the transporters began their work of slowly moving the structure across the highway. By 6:00am on August 17, the arch segment was in place over concrete abutment walls that are 60 feet long, 25 feet tall and 2 feet thick.   The arch segment was welded into place and finishing work began. The Archway opened for visitors on June 9, 2000. Since that time, over 1.5 million visitors have toured the historic exhibit and have been inspired by the Archway spirit of adventure.

2. Sandhill Crane

Every year 400,000 to 600,000 sandhill cranes—80 percent of all the cranes on the planet—congregate along an 80-mile stretch of the central Platte River in Nebraska, to fatten up on waste grain in the empty cornfields in preparation for the journey to their Arctic and subarctic nesting grounds.

3. Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce - Chamber Center

In 1993, the Chamber moved from its downtown location to a site on South Second Avenue. The building that once served as a pool hall is now home to the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council of Buffalo County, Nebraska Cattlemen's Classic and the Kearney Visitors Bureau. The front of the building still reflects its past life, however once you step inside of the space you will see a more modern look reflecting the branding of of the Chamber and our partners.

4. Gottschalk Tower at Yanney Heritage Park

The 80’ John & Carmen Gottschalk Tower is the centerpiece to the park and overlooks the lake, amphitheater, splash pads, playgrounds, marina, flower gardens, and more. As the design process for a new project begins, the very first feature is as important as it acts as a "catalyst" for the entire project. It was determined that this key piece should be an observation tower, and it became a reality because of the generosity of John and Carmen Gottschalk of Omaha.

John is CEO of the Omaha World Herald. He and Carmen have shared their time, talent and resources in a variety of ways within their home town of Omaha and with many other communities through service to the Boy Scouts of America, contributions to a great number of philanthropic organizations, establishing the "Branching Out" program, and by serving as foster parents for many children of all ages. Kearney is fortunate to be a recipient of their kindness and generosity.

5. The M.O.N.A. (Museum of Nebraska Art)

In 1976, the Nebraska Art Collection Board of Directors began with fewer than 30 pieces of art and a dream to create a collection and a showplace with which to celebrate Nebraska’s unique artistic heritage. Statewide support of this endeavor was acknowledged in 1979 when the Nebraska Legislature passed LB116, recognizing the fledgling collection as the official collection of the state. A national endorsement came later that year when the National Endowment for the Arts provided funds to broaden the collection to include the work of contemporary artists.

A locally initiated effort to provide a home for the collection culminated in 1986, in the purchase and renovation of the building that had served as the Kearney Post Office since 1911. The Neoclassical architecture, marble interiors, and spacious, well-lit rooms attracted the attention of museum officials, who purchased the disused building and refitted it. In 1986 MONA opened there in its new permanent location. The post office building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981 as a fine example of the Neoclassical style, and is believed to be the oldest of its type in Kearney.

The Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) was dedicated and opened to the public in October, 1986. In 1993, after successfully fulfilling the terms of a $1 million challenge grant from the Peter Kiewit Foundation, the renovated and enlarged Museum building was opened. The Nebraska Art Collection was first created in 1976 but initially lacked a permanent home. In 1985 a state-appointed commission settled on a historic post office building in Kearney which was built in 1911 but was badly outmoded and slated for demolition.

6. ChamberMan

ChamberMan is a team member at the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce. He consistently works hard to promote local businesses and provide entertainment through the Chamber's social networks. ChamberMan loves to visit Chamber businesses and learn all about how they add to the culture of the Kearney community. Give ChamberMan a follow on Instagram or TikTok!

7. UNK Bell Tower

The 66-foot tall Peterson-Yanney Memorial Bell Tower, a gift in memory of the George and Venetia Peterson and Elias and Mary Yanney families, was erected in 1986.

The bell tower was designed as a memorial to UNK’s old administration building that housed the campus auditorium. The design includes replicas of friezes that once galloped along the wall of the auditorium, as well as four columns that stood at the entrance of the administration building.

The tower features 24 bronze bells cast by the Paccard Bell Foundry in France. The bells weigh a total of 5,790 pounds. The smallest weighs 48 pounds and is 11.5 inches in diameter. The largest weighs 1,477 pounds and has a diameter of 41 inches.

Today the bell tower plays music daily at 8 a.m., noon and 5 p.m. The bells actually went silent in 2002, and were restored in 2005 by students Brett Chloupek, Dustin Kozal, Aaron Graddy and Davin Jones. All computer science information systems students at UNK, they created new software to get the tower in working order.

8. Kearney, Nebraska Strong

Kearney Strong is a movement and a state of mind. It is all of the community coming together to create the best out of any situation. Kearney Strong is more than a cool graphic, more than a hashtag, it’s our resilient community. Do your part and be the best you can be by being KEARNEY STRONG.

Click on the below link to download the Kolor Kearney coloring book.

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