Celebrate Wood River Performing Arts Series


Welcome to WOOD RIVER’S


Made Possible by
The Donna Lee Moyer Performing Arts Gift

2021-2022 Celebrate wood River Events
13800 W Wood River Road, Wood River, NE
All Performances are free and open to public

Free Admission
to all performances thanks to the generous support of our sponsors

Cost: All performances are offered FREE to the public. A freewill offering is accepted at the event to make future programs possible.
Contact: Questions or wondering if an event will occur due to inclement weather? Contact Georgene Smidt at 308-583-2606. Better yet, get added to our email list to receive updates about upcoming events and emergency announcements by emailing [email protected] .


Comedian Magician
Gayle Becwar
Sunday, 9/18/22, 2:30 p.m.

Gayle’s high energy, quick wit and audience participation makes his show a favorite across the country. Growing up in a family of magicians, Gayle Becwar’s first introduction to entertainment came as a child in 1967, performing with his Dad’s traveling magic show. He has performed in front of thousands of audiences all over the world with his unique brand of clean, interactive, fast-paced magic and comedy for all ages. Laughter does wonders for your health so don’t miss this great show!




Offutt Brass
Sunday, 10/23/22 2:30 p.m.

We’re thrilled to bring a brass ensemble from the United States Air Force Heartland of America Band to our stage. Offutt Brass, is comprised of two trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba, and percussion. With a diverse repertoire featuring classical selections, patriotic favorites, jazz and popular music, new compositions and distinctive arrangements, the world-class musicians of Offutt Brass showcase the Air Force’s excellence and precision in every performance. In addition to community concerts, Offutt Brass performs patriotic music and fanfares for military ceremonies and important civic events throughout Nebraska and other areas of the Midwest. As professional Airmen, Offutt Brass is committed to inspiring our American public, communicating our Air Force core values, and honoring our nation’s veterans through the power of music. They are proud to represent our nation’s Airmen who fly, fight and win in air and space.

The Statue of Liberty The Amazing Rest of the Story
Sunday, 2/19/232:30 p.m.

Darrel Draper, a self-identified “edutainer” has performed costumed recreations of Theodore Roosevelt and Peter Sarpy for us in prior seasons. This time, Draper will provide a fascinating 45 minute program about the Statue of Liberty and the “rest of the story” that many people don’t realize. There will be time for questions following his presentation as well. His humor and knowledge of history have delighted audiences aged 8 to 80, explaining why he was one of the most requested speakers in the Nebraska Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau Program prior to his retirement.

The Toasted Ponies
Sunday, 4/16/23, 2:30 p.m.

The Toasted Ponies combine the best of both traditional and contemporary Bluegrass music. Look for great harmony singing and hot instrumentals in a typical Ponies performance. These musicians are seasoned professionals who love playing their music and it shows. They will play everyone’s Bluegrass favorites along with a fun mix of Cajun, Western Swing, Gospel and Celtic tunes just to keep things interesting. Just try seeing the Ponies show without tapping your toes — it can’t be done!



Saturday Friendship Gatherings – 9:30
An informal gathering for friends old & new, young & old to explore and reminisce.
We’ll gather at Wood River 
Rural High School in the theater lobby.


Medicine on the Lewis & Clark Expedition
October 15, 2022

Come hear Dr. Richard Fruehling tell the story of healthcare during this early 1800’s expedition. Also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, President Jefferson commissioned this select group to explore and map the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase.

April 22, 2023

Listen to local historian, Michelle Setlik, detail the history of WWII Prisoner of War Camps in Nebraska and their impact on the region.



Christmas Cantata
Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, 2:30 pm
Appreciate the sounds of Christmas as this central Nebraska choir presents their annual cantata event. The Christmas Cantata will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Church (1108 Dodd St, Wood River).

Easter Cantata
Sunday, April 2, 2023, 2:30 pm
Get swept away in the majesty of Easter during this central Nebraska choir’s cantata presentation. The Easter Cantata will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wood River (1108 Dodd Street).

All School Play

The 2023 production from Wood River High School’s Music & Drama Department is guaranteed to entertain you. The coming year’s performance is TBA at the time of this printing so watch for updates at https://www.woodrivereagles.org !

       The Celebrate Wood River Committee was formed in January 2006 and is made up of roughly twenty individuals from the community. We represent all ages and all walks of life. Our mission has been to make the dream of providing entertainment and enrichment activities to the Wood River area come to life. This season will bring all new performers to Wood River for your enjoyment! The “Weekend Friendship Gathering” series will also provide an opportunity to explore and reminisce with friends. We thank you for your support of both series in our current season…here’s to many more!
All events are open to the public and are provided at no charge (other than all school play admission) thanks to the generous support of our three benefactors. A free will offering will be accepted to continue the entertainment series through the years ahead. We sincerely hope you’ll enjoy yourself and bring a friend or two.
 No tickets are needed for these performances; seating is first-come, first-served. With a 450 seat theater, there is generally plenty of room. Please help spread the word to friends and family — these entertainers love full theaters!

“And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
  – Abraham Lincoln

The Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, supports this program through a matching grant funded by the Nebraska Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Visit www.nebraskaartscouncil.org  for information on how the Nebraska Arts Council can assist your organization, or how you can support the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.