VIDEO: Nebraska Passport


Jared Kennedy
The Omaha News

Sites for the 2016 Nebraska Passport tour have been selected. The tour visits 80 different sites around the state of Nebraska. Kathy McKillip is the executive director for Nebraska Passport. She said the program is about enhancing the recognition of culture in Nebraska.

“Nebraska Passport Program, which is sponsored by Nebraska Tourism, is a program that is to encourage Nebraskans to get out and travel the state and support their fellow Nebraskans,” McKillip said.

Visitors have a personal “passport” they stamp at each location. This is intended to help people keep track of what destinations they have been to, and set goals for what locations they would like to hit before the season is over.

“It’s also really interesting to see how they [the tourists] connect with small businesses. Those small businesses across the state of Nebraska, which are essentially our back bone, really knock it out of the park for us,” McKillip said.

Florence Mill is one of the businesses on the tour. She bought the Mill in 1998, and began the restoration that led to the Mill being reopened as a historical landmark.

“It was a total ruin, it was falling down, it was pink, it was full of 14,000 pounds of fermented grain, dirt, dead animals and pigeon poop,” Meigs said.

The Preservation of Nebraska history is what drives Meigs to keep up the Mill. She said tearing down historic buildings is a travesty.

“I thought, ‘that’s really tragic that we do that, and then we go to Europe to visit history as though we have none,’” Meigs said.

Sites in Omaha that are part of the tour are Crystal Forge, Lewis and Clark Trail Head, Film Streams and El Museo Latino.