The North Platte Downtown Association, in coordination with Keep North Platte and Lincoln County Beautiful, is holding the annual Downtown Cleanup today, Tuesday, May 8.
The theme is “Clean Your Block Party,” said Mona Anderson of Keep North Platte and Lincoln County Beautiful.
The event is held annually as part of the Great American Cleanup, which is the country’s largest community improvement program that kicks off each spring in more than 20,000 communities.
This national program engages 2 million volunteers, Anderson said.
The day began with breakfast and a short meeting at 8:30 a.m. at the downtown location of NebraskaLand National Bank.
Volunteers split into groups to begin cleanup efforts at 9 a.m. Lunch was at noon at Great Western Bank.
A social followed at the Eagles Club, where snacks and refreshments were provided at days end by Adams Bank and Trust.
After the initial registration at NebraskaLand Bank, the headquarters moved to the Espresso Shop.
Volunteers didn’t need to be there all day, but could stay for as long as they liked, Anderson said.
“We wanted to encourage everyone to get involved in keeping our community a cleaner, greener, more beautiful place to live,” she said.
New window canopies, lights and signs give the oldest remaining downtown building a new, historical look.
The Dixon Building dates back to 1883.
It is named for jeweler Harry Dixon, who had a store there for several decades, starting in 1886. Also, the Dixon Optical store opened in 1899, according to a book about North Platte’s oldest buildings, City Bones.
The Dixon Jewelers’ sign was displayed on the front of the store for 77 years, library researcher Kaycee Anderson said in City Bones.
The building is now owned by BE Properties and houses Blakely Enterprises, an independent agency that provides training, reinsurance and consulting to automotive, RV, and power sport dealerships.
New window canopies are installed on eight windows upstairs as well as the large windows on the street level.
The canopies contain under-lighting to help illuminate the building frontage, property manager Renae Brandt said.
Chris Blakely of Blakely Enterprises also purchased another historic downtown building — the Mutual Building and Loan Association on the corner of Jeffers and Fifth and plans to renovate it, starting this summer with the exterior.