When you walk into the Oak Ballroom you immediately realize that they named it for a reason. You're absolutely surrounded by gorgeous oak everywhere.
Sandi Bourn is the manager at the Oak Ballroom, "Some of the trees like this if they were really good trees. He'd pay up to a 1.50 for them, most of them were 50 cents. They utilized every bit of the tree they could from the beams here to the poles holding everything up to the front of the stage to the bar, to the wall trim, a couple of benches a couple of pub tables they just utilized everything they could."
And boy did they do a fantastic job of turning 100 year oaks into an iconic venue. I guess that's why the Lincoln Journal Star once called her, "The Queen of the Platte."
Sandi has been the ballroom manager for the past decade and she seems to love this place more and more every day, "She's my heart. I love being here, I love the weddings we have. I consider all of the people that have weddings here part of my family."
Lavern Kracl and Richard Folda were teenagers when the ballroom was being built in the mid 30's. Richard says, "It really is amazing seeing it from the beginning to where it is now." Lavern adds, "I'm satisfied, after 75 years, it's proven to be a good investment."
From weddings to Welk, the Oak Ballroom has been home to some very memorable events. The first night it opened Lawrence
Welk played here. More than 2,000 people showed up that magical night in 1937.
Lavern remembers it well, "When Lawrence Welk opened here the town was full and the ballroom was full and the ballroom played a very important part in the entertainment of the people of Schuyler for years."
The ballroom has meant a lot to Richard, "The ballroom and the whole park area was something that all of us were very proud of and in most cases everyone was amazed at what we had."