Despite Tornado, Pilger Holds Annual Celebration

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PILGER, Neb.-- Some people from Pilger weren't sure if they were still going to hold their annual weekend celebration after a tornado destroyed much of the village.

But Pilger's strong hearts and minds weren't going to let the storm get in the way of a treasured time.

"This is what Pilger is, this is what we've been waiting for," said volleyball competitor and Pilger native Jacqueline Oswald. "You know it's horrible to say but after the tornado hit we were like are we going to have Pilger days? Are we going to have volleyball?"

The 127th Pilger Days are this weekend. Saturday was full of fun events like mud volleyball, dancing, barbeque's, and even a chance to TASE Sheriff Mike Unger.

The volleyball tournament was $72 per team. In the past the top three teams took home cash prizes, but this year all of the proceeds went to the Village of Pilger.

Village officials including Fire Chief Kory Koehlmoos weren't sure if Pilger Days would still happen after the tornado came through, but because most the the weekend was already planned, they decided to move forward.

"We had a lot of people coming up to us asking if we were still
gong to have Pilger Days," said Koehlmoos. "And the majority of the people wanted to have it so we decided to keep it going on."

This decision was great news for many, who say Pilger needed a weekend like this more than anything.

"It's nice to be able to smile and laugh and have a good time," said Oswald as tears filled her eyes. "Friends getting together that haven't seen each other for years and years and years. So it is nice to be able to enjoy life again."

Pilger Days continue Sunday at 9 a.m. with a church service in the Park.