Nebraska City's 44th annual AppleJack Festival kicked off Friday, Sept. 14, with a spaghetti feed, street dance and downtown carnival.

"It's about time," said music lover Sandy Straw. She called the street dance a great way for her grown children and extended family to get together and enjoy their hometown.

A street dance, carnival and spaghetti feed kicked off Nebraska City's 44th annual AppleJack Festival on Friday.

The dance, which features the Sheila Greenland Band from Lincoln, is new to the festival.Sandy Straw, the sister of Nebraska City's country music star Bunky Christiansen, was among the first to arrive near the Eagles Club at Sixth Street.

“I think it's great,” she said. “It's about time Nebraska City had something like this for AppleJack.”
Straw, who was joined at the dance by her grown children and a host of relatives, said it's a great way for her family to get together and enjoy their hometown.

One of her relatives, Karlene Soriano of Dunbar, was tending a dual-oven, two tank cooker.
She said it's tried and true on steaks and chicken, but at the dance she expects to set a new personal record for cooking hotdogs and hamburgers.

“It's a heck of a grill, but it's takes a heck of a cook to get her going,” Soriano said.
Up the street at the Nebraska City Middle School, the Jaycees were serving their traditional spaghetti dinner.

Gail Wolford credited Laura and Daryll Steinman and Cari Godsey for organizing the kitchen, which served about 150.

They cooked about 35 pounds of dry spaghetti pasta and used 20 gallons of spaghetti sauce.
Wolford said the spaghetti dinner, which was first served in the Memorial Building six years ago, has emerged as the traditional way to start off the celebration.

Macs Carnival, a third-generation family company, opened Saturday at Central Avenue and Sixth Street.

The carnival features a modern kiddie land, which came here from the Minnesota State Fair, a ferris wheel reaching a height of 50 feet and the Zipper spectacular.

Carnival owner Lon McWhorten said there is just enough room at the location for all of the rides and people.

The carnival will have armbands on Saturday be here until Sunday evening. It will next head to Arkansas.