RECREATION AND PARKS
The six city parks in O'Neill cover 103 acres and have a swimming pool,
playground equipment, picnic tables, fishing pond, lighted softball and baseball
fields, tennis courts, soccer fields, horse arena, and camping area.
The Parks and Recreation Department has one full-time year-around director
and 29 seasonal employees (10 full-time) with an average annual budget
of $175,000. Programs offered by the department include Red Cross swimming,
aquarobics, lap swimming, swim team, softball, baseball, and soccer.
O'Neill has facilities for:
- Boating- Facilities at Goose Lake, 27 miles, and Fort Randall Reservoir and
Calamus Dam, 50 miles
- Bowling- One 12-lane bowling alley
- Fishing- Excellent fishing for trout, bass, catfish, and other species
- Golf- One private 9-hole grass greens course with clubhouse
- Horse Shoes- Horseshoe pits (qualified for tournaments)
- Hunting- Deer, pheasant, duck, quail, turkey, prairie chicken, rabbit, and
- Swimming- An olympic-size pool in the park
- Tennis- One hard-surfaced, lighted court and another court under construction
- Theatres- One indoor theatre seating 400
Residents in O'Neill prepare for the St. Patrick's Day celebration in March
honoring the patron saint of Ireland. The celebrations have doubled the
population of the "Irish Capital of Nebraska." Another annual event is the Summerfest.
a family celebration including a rodeo, held the second weekend of July.
The Moses P. Kinkaid Bank building is a registered National Historic Site.
The structure houses the Holt County Historical Society and includes Kinkaid's
law office left as it was in 1884. Moses Kinkaid was responsible for the Kinkaid
Land Act of 1904. The first floor contains a fire-proof vault and a small gift
shop which sells crafts made by local artisans as well as books on the local history of the area. The
second floor has a display depicting the settlement of Holt County and remnants
of a bygone era.
The Golden Hotel is also listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
The lobby has been restored to its former grandeur and the hotel is still in use
The Cowboy Trail which covers 321 miles from Norfolk to Chadron, Nebraska, is
currently being developed as the longest converted rail line to trail in the
nation. The trail covers 3,893 acres of land and 221 bridges. The Chicago and
North Western Depot in O'Neill is currently being renovated to benefit the
development of the Cowboy Trail. Eight miles of the trail from O'Neill to Inman
were officially opened on September 7, 1997. The O'Neill Chapter of the Friends
of the Cowboy Trail are planning the development of one mile from the east city
limits to the west city limits, with benches, plants, and an area for
Attractions in the immediate area of O'Neill include Goose Lake (27 miles
south), Fort Randall Reservoir and Fort Randall Casino (50 miles north),
Atkinson State Lakes (20 miles west), and Calamus Dam (50 miles south).
Cultural activities are provided by Irish dancers and traveling artists.
The Holt County Fair is held each year in Chambers, NE, just 20 miles from O'Neill.
The O'Neill Public Library in O'Neill contains 47,041 volumes and has an average
annual circulation of 119,201. The library is part of the Nebraska Interlibrary
Book Loan program. Story hour is held during the summer months. Twelve
computers are available to library patrons.