1. The Cowboy Trail

The longest rail-to-trail conversion in the United States, which includes community access and drop-off points along the way. Walk, run or bike the trail – it’s a beautiful way to take in the Norfolk, Nebraska area.

2. Heeeeere’s Johnny!

Norfolk is the proud home of Johnny Carson. Fan sites around town include Johnny’s childhood home and gallery.

3. You Can Do It All – At Divot’s

A brewery, restaurant, miniature golf course and fireside gathering areas are just a few amenities this full-service hotel and conference center has to offer. The Lodge includes an indoor pool, whirlpool, exercise room and a rooftop terrace.

4. Kayaking

If water is your thing – enjoy a leisurely float on Skyview Lake or plan a trip down the North Fork or Elkhorn River. Rental kayaks, tubes, SUPs and paddle boats available. https://visitnorfolkne.com/home/things-to-do/#top

5. Outdoor Live Music & Festivals

Summer is a time for outdoor music and festivals. Enjoy Norfolk’s Music in Park series of concerts which run through Labor Day or catch a band at a local establishment, county fair or street dance.

The Madison County Fair is only once a year, but it leaves those that attend with memories that will last a lifetime. The sounds, the lights, the smells of the food vendors are all things that people look forward to and remember all year long. As you walk through the gates you will see people from all over the county and state with smiles and cotton candy mustaches. There are so many things that make The Madison County Fair the spectacular event that it is.

Each year D.C. Lynch puts together an assortment of rides and vendors for all aged fair enthusiast. There are some people that enjoy rides like the Zipper as they get tossed and turned in all directions and others enjoy the simplicity and romance of the Ferris Wheel. Not many kids can go passed the rides without reaching for their inner dare devil, wanting the thrill and excitement of the speed and lights. For the less adventurous there is a lot of joy brought upon by a funnel cake and walk through the midway. The carnival runs each day from 6p.m. to 11p.m. with the cost of wristbands being $25.00. Not a bad price for a night full of fun.

The food brought by local vendors, churches, and 4H groups is nothing to ignore. Even if you try, your nose won’t let you. The smells that come from the food vendors are almost intoxicating. Walking tacos, food on a stick, nachos and everything you can dream of cheating on your diet with is available at The Madison County Fair. Take a friend so you can try their food too. Here’s a list of this years vendors so you can make your list of “good eats.”


Chuck Wagon – Dippin Dots – Eat My Bloomers – Gators & Taters – Goody’s Grille – Hall Family Foods – Jim’s Kettlecorn – JoJo’s Gelato

Knights of Columbus –  Leon Mexican Restaurant – Madison Post Prom – Pizza Point Concessions – Smokin Like Ya Like It

– Taylor Made Catering – Trinity Lutheran Church – Vogel’s Street Treats


4H Exhibits are more than just crafts, flowers, and animals. The exhibitors that bring items in for judging have worked hard for months to make sure everything is just perfect. The livestock you see is raised, groomed, and trained by 4Hers from around the county. It’s a lot of work to get the exhibits ready so make sure to applaud exhibitors as they hold on proudly to their blue and purple ribbons. The crafts, photography, and homemade creations are each exhibitor’s own art pieces brought out to show fair goers. 4Hers take a lot of pride in their work and it shows. Their exhibits are a very special part of the fair whether it moos, can be worn, or was grown in the garden it was definitely brought to you with heart and pride. 


“It’s cowboy hats, It’s spurs, and latigo It’s the ropes and the reins” Don’t forget to grab your boots and hats to head to Midstates Champion Rodeo. This will take place on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday starting at 7:30p.m. The rodeo is just as much a part of the fair as funnel cakes and Ferris Wheels. There’s never a dull moment! Be part of the crowd to cheer on those that ride and clown around in the dirt. 


This years line up of music will not disappoint. Two young and upcoming artist have been added to the line up of entertainment. Brett Young will start you off on Saturday July 12th. You can expect to hear some of his popular hits such as “In Case You Didn’t Know” and “Mercy.” He has a lot of feel good music for you to enjoy. The fun will keep going on Sunday July 13th with Chris Janson. Be ready for a real show when you get your tickets for this one! You can bring your lawn chairs but you’ll probably use your dancing shoes more. Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy you a ticket to see Chris Janson in concert which is pretty much the same thing. 

Make sure you don’t miss a minute of The Best Week in July!


July 3, 2019

Race Night: Off Road Speedway will be hosting a July 3rd race night special. Like last year, there will be an Independence Day parade lap. The current points leaders will be leading the pre-race festivities on the track. A flyover is planned and there will be Fireworks after the races.

July 4, 2019

Norfolk 4th of July Parade: The Norfolk 4th of July Parade starts at 10 a.m. The many floats, bands, and local businesses will be found in Norfolk’s Downtown. If you’re interested in adding your own touch to the parade you may contact Kevin at 402.750.1570. 

4th of July Picnic: Following the parade will be the Annual Independence Day Picnic at Verges Park behind Elkhorn Valley Museum. Bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy music by The Roadhouse Band. 

Madison 4th of July Parade: On the Fourth head to Madison for this year’s “Proud to be an American” themed parade. The parade starts at 2p.m. in Madison but if you would like to have a float you must register by 12:30p.m. with Peg Freudenburg (402) 454-2251 or email madisonchamber@telebeep.com

Downtown Afterhours: Head downtown for drinks, shopping, and prizes on the 4th of July. The downtown will start its evening of fun at 3p.m. and stores will stay open till 7p.m.

Music in the Park:  Get down and boogie on the 4th with music in the park by Heartland Boogie Band. This is always a fun, FREE, and family friendly event. It is held at Skyview Lake in Norfolk. The music starts at 5:30 so grab a blanket/lawn chairs, a cold beverage, and someone to enjoy the music with and head to the park for a beautiful evening of music. 

July 5, 2019

Out of this World Field Day: The Norfolk Public Library will be hosting the Out of this World Field Day on July 5th. Meet at the north side of the building by 10a.m. to take part in some fun games and field events.

July 6, 2019

Big Bang Boom: This may be one of the biggest events in the area! It’s not your average day at the park. This is an exciting day at the lake, live local musicians, and amazing display of fireworks. The Begats of Norfolk, NE will kick off the local music this year and be followed by a lineup of very talented, local musicians. If you want great seating don’t wait until 5:30 to get there.  Every year people come from all over to enjoy the day’s events and see the phenomenal display of fireworks put on at Skyview Lake. People of all ages join in the oooh and the ahhh of the fireworks that light up the sky. There’s a majestic beauty that comes from the very moment that the flag is raised and the sound of the Star Spangled Banner is played to all of those awaiting the show. As the crowd claps and cheers at the end of the song, the show begins and so does the emotion of what that night means to each and every individual watching. For some it takes them back to their childhood and others it may bring a tear to their eye as they embrace the freedoms and rights in this new country, they now call home. This is a great evening of celebration that you won’t want to miss.