Thunder on the Loup Draws Hundreds


High power action caused a “wake” of excitement on an otherwise peaceful river this weekend.

Airboat racers sped down the Middle Loup River Sunday during the annual Thunder on the Loup near Palmer.

Participants said the two-day event has boosted knowledge about the area with people from as far as Florida and Minnesota attending.

“Who would think you would have something like this in Nebraska, airboat races on the river? That's pretty neat,” said Lois Leach, a spectator from Holdrege.

“I don't think they ever thought it would be something like this when it first started, but it's just really taken off. Yesterday alone there was over 1,000 people who drove here and there's over 125 campers out here, probably over 100 boats that showed up the day of the race,” said Bill Kurz, an event volunteer.

Local volunteers add Thunder on the Loup has helped boost the economy with some campers arriving a week ahead for the event.