AP NEWS

1st NEBRASKAland Days headliner named

August 17, 2016 GMT

NEBRASKAland Days organizers made two big announcements regarding the 2017 celebration on Wednesday morning. Executive director David Fudge said that officials had finalized the first act of the U.S. Cellular Summer Jam Concert Series and that the annual NEBRASKAland Days Parade will become an official part of Nebraska’s 150th birthday celebration.

First headliner announced

Alan Jackson will be taking center stage during the first night of the US Cellular Summer Jam Concert Series on June 23 as part of his Keepin’ It Country tour.

Jackson has sold nearly 60 million albums worldwide and ranks as one of the 10 best selling male vocalists of all time in all genres. He was recently listed as one of the Top 10 Country Artists of All Time by Billboard.

Jackson has released more than 60 singles, with 50 hitting the Top 10 and 35 taking the No. 1 spot on the charts. Jackson, of rural Newnan, Georgia, says he’s just a “singer of simple songs.”

He’s earned more than 150 industry awards including 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 16 Country Music Association Awards, two Grammys and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Founders and Golden Note Awards. He received the first ASCAP Heritage Award in 2014, having earned the title of most-performed country music songwriter-artist of the organization’s first 100 years.

He’s a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

Jackson will be joined by Dwight Yoakam. Yoakam has sold more than 25 million records worldwide and has been nominated for 21 Grammy Awards, winning two of them for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.

Yoakam has hit the charts with nearly 40 singles; 14 of them landed in the top 10.

Tickets for the concert will go on sale to fan club and NEBRASKAland Days sustaining members on Sept. 1. Tickets will go on sale to the public on Sept. 6.

Organizers are still working to finalize the performer for the second night of the series. Ticket prices are expected to be finalized within the next few weeks.

Parade becomes official part of state’s 150th celebration

The NEBRASKAland Days Parade will double as the Official Sesquicentennial Grand Parade for the state’s 150th birthday celebration. The parade is scheduled for June 17.

Earlier this month, the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission designated the NEBRASKAland Days Parade as a Signature NE150 Event and the NEBRASKAland Days Board of Directors accepted the designation.

“We’re obviously excited about the partnership that is being forged between the commission and NEBRASKAland Days,” said Fudge. “As Nebraska’s Official State Celebration, we knew we wanted to contribute to NE150 in whatever way we could.”

The parade actually predates the NEBRASKAland Days Celebration by one year. It was founded by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 1964 and originally took place in downtown Lincoln. It was meant to highlight everything Nebraska has to offer and participants were invited from across the state.

“The 2017 parade will have a similar mission,” said Fudge. “Nebraska should be proud of what we have to offer, and we hope to be able to highlight that during not only the parade, but throughout our 2017 celebration.”