A dozen Panhandle attractions made the list of 70 stops on the 2022 Nebraska Passport Program this year. The list, which was released March 1, contains 10 different themed categories of attractions and represents 51 communities throughout the entire state of Nebraska.
With the program reaching a record-breaking 1,322 participants traveling to every spot last year, John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director, said he can’t believe how popular the Nebraska Passport continues to be each year.
“The popularity of this program year after year continues to leave me in disbelief,” he said in a press release.
Papa Moon Vineyards and Winery, one of the Panhandle stops on the passport this summer, said they are excited to be a part of representing western Nebraska this year. In fact, they are representing the Panhandle in three different passport programs this summer: 2022 Nebraska Passport, 2022 Colorado Brewery/Hop Passport and 2022 Nebraska Winery Passport.
“I think it’ll be really neat to be able to see if you can participate in that and be able to see so much of Nebraska,” Catlyn Massey, an owner of Papa Moon Vineyards and Winery said. “I think it’s such a fun way to travel and see your own state and see so many things that you normally wouldn’t. There’s so many things in Nebraska I’m like, I never even knew that existed. … So hopefully, that’ll kind of get people out here as well.”
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Originally launching in 2009, the program “inspires Nebraskans and tourists to travel throughout the state collecting stamps to earn prizes, while also supporting Nebraska’s tourism destinations and local businesses,” according to the press release.
That’s why Papa Moon Vineyards and Winery is excited to be a part of this year’s Passport.
“We’re excited about the increase in traffic that comes through here, and just getting more people out here and reaching more people,” Massey said. “…We’ve got a lot of really fun things planned for this summer. We’re going to start doing fermented Fridays. … We’ve got comedy shows, and we’re pairing with Theater West and we’re going to do a cabaret show, and we will have trivia nights, we’ll have like paint and sips, and craft nights — we’ve got a lot of really cool things lined up.”
Other Panhandle stops include:
- Carhenge—Alliance, 2151 Cty Rd 59 2 1/2 mi. N. on NE Hwy 87
- Our Lavender Co. — Big Springs, 20380 Road 4
- 385 Meat Market—Bridgeport, 914 Main St.
- Pioneer Trails Museum—Bridgeport, 103 Bell Rd. (Hwy 385)
- Dawes County Historical Museum—Chadron, 341 Country Club Rd.
- Farm To Family Cooperative — Hay Springs, 127 N Main St.
- Nebraska Coffee—Kimball, 607 E Third St.
- Ash Hollow State Historical Park — Lewellen, 3 mi. SE on US Hwy 26
- I&L Coffee Roasters — Mitchell, 1456 Center Ave.
- Marketplace & Company – Pesto Fine Italian — Mitchell, 1344 Center Ave.
- Papa Moon Vineyards, Winery & Cider House — Scottsbluff, 230975 Co. Rd. J
- Scottsbluff YMCA Trails West — Scottsbluff, 22 South Beltline Hwy. E
Passports will be available at participating stops starting May 1 or can be pre-ordered at NebraskaPassport.com. Participants can also download the Nebraska Passport App on their smartphone and get digital stamps, supplementing the physical Passport booklet for convenience.
Those who used the mobile app last year will need to update the app to see the new program information. The Passport app will be updated with the 2022 information on May 1. To download, search “NE Passport 2022” in the Apple App Store or Google Play App Store.