BOW VALLEY, Neb. (KCAU) – The 125th anniversary of Schuetzenfest was supposed to take place last year as a singular day event. However this year, changes were made to further the experience of embracing German heritage.

The Bow Valley Schuetzenfest is northeast Nebraska’s premier celebration of the community’s German roots. This year, the President of the Bow Valley Park Association said changes have been made to extend the fun.

“Something we’ve never done in the past was a two-day event, and we started yesterday already with our Schuetzenfest, and we did a softball, baseball tournament and that came to fruition. Something that we had last night was a prime rib dinner for all the guys that are dressed in white. They are going to be the guys that are shooting at the bird,” said Tom Wiebelhaus, the president of the Bow Valley Park Association.

The highlight of the event is the shooting contest to determine the new King and Queen of Schuetzenfest.

But, what’s the goal? To shoot a wooden bird off a 30-foot pole from 40 yards away.

The Chairman of Schuetzenfest explains what it means to have the community come together.

“It’s really not that tough to do of a job when you have a lot of great guys surrounding you. We have great board members here that have helped me out. They put me in the position of being the chairman, and it has been so much fun, so much family, friends, and we all come together and put a great product out for people to have fun,” said Clint Pinkelman, the chairman of Schuetzenfest.

And to embrace your heritage.

“I want to show my sons, I’ve got two sons that’ll be shooting today. I want to show them what our German heritage means. I want to teach our younger generation so that it’s not lost in the future. It’s like telling a story, and we have to continue that story in order to keep our heritage alive,” said Wiebelhaus.

In total, it took 252 shots from a group of 64 men to get the wooden bird down. The new King of Schuetzenfest is Matt Potts, so congratulations to him!