New stage added to Milligan’s Centennial Garden

Already a beautiful outdoor setting for a concert, people travelling to Milligan next weekend will be looking toward a new impressive back drop when they take in the evening concerts during this year’s June Jubilee celebration.
Apparently, when you make it a habit to bring in big-time Nashville talent, it’s time to have a big-time venue to feature them.  This year, it was time to give the stage at the Milligan Centennial Garden a major upgrade. The original 30-foot by 15-foot stage was built for the Milligan Centennial in 1987.  It has now been replaced by a larger 46-foot by 26-foot (1,196 square feet) covered stage—just in time for the blockbuster Friday, June 12, concert featuring three national-touring Nashville acts, Diamond Rio, Trick Pony and James Otto.
“With the bigger bands, the more room they need,” said Jason Pribyl, who helped spearhead the project for the Milligan Community Club.  “The last couple of years, we had to compromise some to make it work for the bands.  Plus with termites, age, all the weight up there, we were kindof afraid it wouldn’t hold up any more…the old one had done it’s time.  We just needed more space.”
This year’s June Jubilee president Wade Sluka agrees with Pribyl that it was time for the upgrade.
“The celebrity bands we’ve had, are used to playing on larger stages, and we wanted to make this year’s concert better for everyone,”   Sluka said.  “With the larger stage, there can be more lights and more equipment, which makes for a better concert.”   
Krest Contractors (Jeff and Trevor Krehnke) from Bruning built the new stage, with proceeds from past Milligan celebrations.  Local volunteers cleared the way for the new stage to be built, by taking out the back fence, and cutting down some old trees.
“We mainly did the tree work and the demolition of tearing the old one out,” Pribyl said.  “We got it ready for them (Krest Contractors).  We had a lot of volunteers who helped out…too many for me to name because I would hate to miss anyone.  We always have a lot of good community help, for sure.”
Pribyl said the new stage doesn’t not cut into any of the room of the Centennial Garden.  In fact, he said some room was actually gained.  The majority of the new stage was added to the back. The new stage’s front will be where the old one ended.  While working on tearing the old stage out, Pribyl noted the old fence on the south side was in poor condition too and it was decided to replace it.
Now, past June Jubilee president Scott Oliva notes it’s time to show off the beautiful, shady outdoor venue to lots of people once again.
“It makes me proud to see our Centennial Garden and our community coming together again for a concert this big,” he said.
Sluka, along with the Milligan Community Club, helped pick the acts this year, and he added, “For our little town to have three big Nashville acts, takes a lot of work and volunteers and I feel we have met that challenge again this year.”
While, next weekend’s concert promises to be a great one and being very well-atteded, Pribyl noted the major upgrade to the stage and Centennial Garden was funded by donations and proceeds from previous concerts and June Jubilees.
“Thanks to our sponsors…you would be surprised how many we have and have had,” Pribyl said.  “And, thanks to the people who come out and support our shows and our celebration.”
Entertainer and booking agent Gayle Becwar from Lincoln’s Becwar & Associates Entertainment Agency books concerts and entertainers all over the U.S. and said he has been honored to book Sawyer Brown, Chris Cagle and the Kentucky Headhunters for Milligan’s June Jubilee the past two years.
“The Milligan Community Club works hard, and all the past celebrity bands have loved coming to Milligan, with the Kentucky Headhunters even saying that Milligan was their favorite concert of 2014,” Becwar said.
Becwar noted that, this year having three famous acts for a very low price is a “unbelievable,” and a better value than any other concert he has been involved in.
“Since there are no assigned seats, you can walk right up to the stage, compared to most concerts, where you would normally pay $150 a ticket to be that close to the stage,” Becwar said.  “Plus, with Diamond Rio, Trick Pony and James Otto, you get three great acts that all ages will enjoy.”
DIAMOND RIO’S song “Unbelievable,” is the perfect word to describe the 28th annual Milligan, Nebraska June Jubilee concert on Friday June 12th. This year the Milligan Community Club is bringing to their Centennial Garden 3 CELEBRITY ACTS.  Headlining the concert is Grammy award winner (13 times Nominated), and six-time Vocal Group of the Year, (15 times Nominated) DIAMOND RIO who have charted 33 songs, including 19 Top Ten Hits (“Meet in the Middle,” “How Your Love Makes Me Feel,” “One More Day,” “Beautiful Mess,” “I Believe” are  just 5 of their songs that reached Number 1)   The Concert starts at 7:00 PM with a solo acoustic performance by  JAMES OTTO (“Just Got Started Loving You,”  “Groovy Little Summer Song,” and his current song heard on radio now, “Somewhere Tonight”).   TRICK PONY (“On a Night Like This,” “Pour Me,” “Johnny and June,” “Just What I do’) will follow at about 8:30 PM.  Tickets are available at: (where you can print off your ticket, or have them mailed to you) OR in Milligan, Nebraska at Farmers and Merchants Bank, Milligan Insurance Agency, The Total Look Salon, or Evening with Friends Restaurant.  Online ticket sales end at 5:30 PM on Friday June 12th, (Final Day to have tickets delivered by mail is June 4th)  Ticket Prices are only $30.00, and will increase to $40.00 on June 8th.  Gates Open at 6:00 PM, No Coolers or Pets.

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