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Things To Do

There are plenty of local attractions for all types of travelers, including Summerfest, rodeos, baseball tournaments, and more. The community has maintained many historic buildings, many of which feature dozens of

one-of-a-kind retail shops. All of this combines to make O'Neill a unique, friendly stop.

Annual Events

  • St. Patrick's Day Celebration: Celebration in March honoring the patron saint of Ireland, which has doubled the population of  the "Irish Capital of Nebraska" during festivities

  • 4th of July Fireworks Display: Free family-friendly event located at the O'Neill Golf Club

  • City-wide Garage Sale

  • Downtown Sidewalk Sale

  • Summerfest: A family celebration including a rodeo, held the third weekend of July

  • Holt County Fair: Held each year in Chambers, NE, just 20 miles from O'Neill

  • Harvest of Savings: Participating Chamber Member businesses have special holiday season sales and savings held in November

  • Hometown Christmas: Holiday celebration of lighted grand parade through downtown, lighting of the community Christmas tree, and many other festive activities

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Parks & Recreation

The six city parks in O'Neill cover 103 acres and have a swimming pool, playground equipment, picnic tables, fishing pond, lighted softball and baseball fields, tennis courts, soccer fields, horse arena, and camping area.

The Parks and Recreation Department has one full-time year-around director and 29 seasonal employees (4 full-time) with an average annual budget of $175,000. Programs offered by the department include Red Cross swimming, aqua aerobics, lap swimming, swim team, softball, baseball, and soccer.

Recreational Facilities

  • Boating 

    • Goose Lake (27 miles south) 

    • Fort Randall Reservoir (50 miles north)

    • Calamus Dam (50 miles south)

    • Atkinson State Lakes (20 miles west)

  • Bowling: One 12-lane bowling alley

  • Fishing: Excellent fishing for trout, bass, catfish, bluegill, and other species

  • Golf: One private 9-hole grass greens course with clubhouse

  • Horse Shoes: Horseshoe pits (qualified for tournaments)

  • Hunting: Deer, pheasant, duck, quail, turkey, prairie chicken, rabbit, and squirrel

  • Reading & Research: The O'Neill Public Library, contains 47,041 volumes (average annual circulation of 119,201) and 12 computers, story hour held during the summer months

  • Swimming: A large pool and slides at Ford Park

  • Tennis: One hard-surfaced, lighted court near O'Neill Public Jr. & Sr. High School

  • Walking/Bicycling Trails: 

    • ​The Cowboy Trail, covering 321 miles from Norfolk to Chadron, stretching 3,893 acres of land and 221 bridges
    • Currently being developed as the longest converted rail line to trail in the nation 

    • Eight miles of the trail from O'Neill to Inman were officially opened on September 7, 1997

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Historical Attractions

  • Moses P. Kinkaid Building

    • A registered National Historic Site, originally built in 1882-1883

    • Houses the Holt County Historical Society and includes Kinkaid's law office left as it was in 1884

    • Moses Kinkaid was responsible for the Kinkaid Land Act of 1904

    • The first floor contains a fire-proof vault and a small gift shop which sells crafts made by local artisans as well as books on the local history of the area. The second floor has a display depicting the settlement of Holt County and remnants of a bygone era.

  • Holt Co. Historical Society: Located within the Moses P. Kinkaid Building

  • Golden Hotel

    • ​Built in 1912-1913, featuring Colonial Revival architecture

    • Listed on the National Register of Historic Sites

    • Lobby has been restored to its former grandeur, and hotel is still in use today

    • Known for Chicago gangster Al Capone's stay during the 1920s while visiting his relatives in Nebraska

  • Irish Capital Historical Marker: Founded by General John O'Neill, a native of Ireland and veteran of the American Civil War; proclaimed the Irish Capital of Nebraska by the Governor in 1969

  • American Legion Hwy. Historical Marker: U.S. 281 was formally dedicated as the national "American Legion Memorial Highway" in 1960

  • General John O'Neill Statue: Dedicated June 4, 2022, this sculpture stands outside the courthouse in honor of the founder of O'Neill

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