The Chokecherry Capital of Nebraska

Many towns are known as the capital of something! It turns out, Sargent is the "Chokecherry Capital" of Nebraska.

Janie Weverka says Sargent got the name around 1990. She says she managed a business back in 1989 called "Janie's Place." At the time, she belonged to the Chamber of Commerce, and was president. The Chamber was looking for a way to bring people to Sargent. A committee was formed, and it was decided that the community could play off of the chokecherries that are prevalent in the area. "They grow abundant in our area, they grow wild, and you can do many things with them. So therefore, the Chokecherry JAM-boree was started," Weverka said.

"Every organization was involved, everyone had a part in our festival,' Weverka said. "The second year we went to the governor, Governor Kay Orr, to get our festival proclaimed the Chokecherry Capital of Nebraska, and that happened in 1990."

Now, the Sargent Fair essentially runs the Chokecherry Festival, and local favorites like the pit-spitting contest and the queen contest are still held each year. People also still enjoy products that are made with chokecherries. "Everyone makes chokecherry jelly here," Weverka said. "We have buyers from all over that want it."