ASHLAND – The Nebraska Legislature wrapped up the first session of the 107th Legislature last week, but not before passing a whimsical resolution about Ashland’s annual event.
Legislature Resolution 245 (LR245) was introduced May 20 by state senators Bruce Bostelman, who represents Ashland in District 23, and Mike McDonnell, a state senator from Omaha. It was signed by Sen. Mike Filgers, speaker of the Legislature, and the President of the Senate, Lt. Gov. Mike Foley, on May 27.
Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce President Bradley Pfeiffer said the resolution came about after he had a recent meeting with Bostelman and McDonnel to discuss another LB406, a bill passed by the Legislature on May 20 and signed by the governor six days later, that will study potential flood control projects in three areas, including the Platte River.
Last year, Pfeiffer and other city officials had lunch with McDonnell and Bostelman to express their unhappiness over the bill, which they felt could potentially lead to talks about damming the Platte River and flooding Ashland, a subject that has come up many times over the last 100-plus years.
While they talked about the bill, which the Legislature passed on May 20 and the governor signed a week later, they also talked about other events in Ashland, including Stir-Up.
Pfeiffer told the senators about this year’s theme – Alien Encounters – centered on the infamous alien abduction of then-Ashland police officer Herbert Schirmer in 1967.
Also attending the meeting was McDonnell’s aide, Tim Pendrell. Pendrell offered to help draft the resolution and set up a public presentation of the proclamation. Unfortunately, the pandemic has limited public events at the state capitol, so the ceremony won’t happen there, Pfeiffer said.
Instead, they are looking to set up some type of ceremony in the weeks preceding Stir-Up, which takes place July 16 to 18 in various locations in Ashland.
Pendrell is also helping Pfeiffer and Stir-Up organizers Cindy Walsh and Shelly Pfeiffer try to land a huge celebrity for Stir-Up.
The Chamber president said Dan Aykroyd, star of the blockbuster movie “Ghostbusters” and an alum of TV’s “Saturday Night Live,” is apparently very interested in alien abductions, Pfeiffer said. In fact, on a radio broadcast, he actually spoke about Schirmer’s encounter.
Pendrell had a friend who located Aykroyd’s agent’s contact information, and Pfeiffer said they are working to get in touch with him.
In the meantime, work continues on Stir-Up planning. More information about the event will be published in future issues of The Ashland Gazette.
WHEREAS, each year in Ashland, the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce hosts Stir-Up Days, which is one of Nebraska’s single largest annual community events; and
WHEREAS, Stir-Up Days is a three-day event that takes place on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday each year with multiple daily events, including the coronation of the Stir-Up king and queen, carnival games, a car show, historic tours, live music, contests, food, dance, and a parade; and
WHEREAS, the theme for Stir-Up Days this year is “Alien Encounter.” The theme commemorates the alien encounter reportedly experienced by Ashland police officer Herbert Schirmer in 1967, which was featured on season six, episode two, of the show Unsolved Mysteries of the World; and
WHEREAS, special alien-themed events are being planned for Stir-Up this year, including a hot air balloon and a panel discussion with graphic novel author Michael Jasorka, members of the Mutual U.F.O. Network, and a member of the Schirmer family; and
WHEREAS, the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to welcome people back to Stir-Up Days after having to cancel last year’s celebration due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, Stir-Up Days: Alien Encounter, will take place July 16 through July 18 in Ashland, Nebraska.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH LEGISLATURE OF NEBRASKA, FIRST SESSION:
1. That the Legislature encourages individuals to check their Starlogs to encounter friends at this out-of-this-world experience in Ashland. “Do or Do Not. There is no Try.”