Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

'Visit Kimball' With Jessica

Kimball County Tourism Director Debuts New Column In Observer

Hello Kimball!

Let me introduce myself – my name is Jessica Rocha, and I am the Tourism Director for Kimball County. I have decided that it might be nice if we are able to give the community a little update on the Kimball County Visitor Center/High Point Welcome Center every month or so, and the newspaper was so kind to help me out!

A little bit about the Visitor Center … The County purchased this property (the old Burger King on the hill) about seven years ago and we opened in July of 2013 as an information/welcome center. Since that time, we have had almost 83,000 visitors!! We have seen visitors from every state in the U.S. and from over 60 countries across the world.

Things are slowing down in terms of visitor traffic to the Visitor Center, but we are staying busy coming up with ways to get more traffic through our county next year. I am open to ideas on events and would love to have more input from the community since you know the area I am working to showcase.

We have been gradually getting in new gift shop items locally made by artists and vendors from our area. If you haven’t been able to find just the right gift for your family or friends, come out to see if we might have what you want!

We also have brochures from across the state, as well as information for Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming. Our morning worker, Virginia, has been working hard to get maps from all 50 states, so if you are planning a trip, come stock up.

We have been working to have events at the Visitor Center also. On Oct. 31, we hosted an Honor Flight coming through from the Chadron area. It was wonderful to be able to shake hands with some of our country’s heroes.

The 2nd of November we were thrilled to have Stacey Bolin teach a painting class for us! She is planning on doing more classes at the Visitor Center, so keep watching for the next one.

I also spoke with Andy Pollock, writer and the legislative lobbyist for the Nebraska Travel Association (NETA), and he is planning on doing a reading from his book “The Snowbound Anthology” at the Visitor Center on the 26th of November (tentatively).

Looking at this month of events: There are lots of open houses and craft shows around the Panhandle and of course the Parade of Lights here in Kimball on the 30th. We are looking forward to having an entry in the parade this year for the Visitor Center! Along with the parade that evening, there will be the Jingle Bell Market all day, a soup supper, and Santa’s Den at the Eagles. For a list of the area events, check out our newsletter on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KimballCountyVisitorCenter.

Finally, the Santa’s Helpers are doing a wall hanging/stocking contest and silent auction that will happen at the Jingle Bell Market. If you are interested in participating in the contest, you can pick up your wall hanging/stocking at the Visitor Center.

Once you have it decorated, you will bring it back to the Visitor Center where it will be displayed until the 30th. They will then be put up for bid at the Eagles during the Jingle Bell Market and the winners will be announced during the Soup Supper at 5:30 PM that evening.

Come out to the Visitor Center or email me at [email protected] and let me know your thoughts about our county! I would love to be able to know why you moved here, stayed here, or came home after years away.

Let me be able to use your passion for our community to show the rest of the world why we love living here and why they should visit!

Always, Jessica Rocha