located in the United States of America
in the state of Nebraska
. It is along the Missouri River
in the South East portion of the state. It is the County Seat
for Otoe County
It is the home of Arbor Day thanks to J. Sterling Morton way back in 1872. The home of J. Sterling Morton is now known as Arbor Lodge State Park and is located on the Western side of town. The town holds a very large Arbor Day Celebration every year on the last Friday in April. Trees are a big deal in this small town thanks to this. There are several orchards, tree farms, a conference center, and much more all thanks to an idea by this local newspaper editor that Nebraska needed more trees.
The other large celebration that happens in this small town is the Applejack Festival. Every fall the city puts on a celebration for the harvesting of the local apple orchards. The idea comes from Jack Brawner and Ron Ballou back in 1968. Jack, the owner of a local furniture store, and Ron, the Chamber of Commerce manager at the time, were discussing a way to attract visitors to the orchards of the city when Ballou turns to Brawner and says "We need a festival centered around apples, Jack." And from that sentence we got the Applejack Festival.
During either of these celebrations this small town of about 6,500 can draw anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 people. Other local attractions include the Lied Conference Center, Steinhart Park, John Brown's Cave, and an Outlet Mall.
Steinhart Park is a major part of the town. It is a large park that contains a Lodge, a swimming pool, four baseball fields, a golf course, a pond, some tennis courts, a hill for winter sledding, and several play grounds. I spent many a summer day at this park. Playing baseball or swimming. As the home of the biggest pool in a large area it was the frequent host of swim meets. (yeah, I was on the local swim team for most of my pre-teen youth) The park was also where the carnival setup when it came through town and home to the largest 4th of July firework celebration in the surrounding area.
Another important point to make is there is a movie theater in Nebraska City. With three whole screens (yes sarcasm is being used), meaning people would come from all the surrounding cities to catch a movie if they couldn't make it all the way to Omaha (45 miles north) or Lincoln (50 miles west).
It's not a great town, but it is where I grew up. I still have a lot of family back there and visit when I can. It may not be much to some people but it holds a special place in my heart.