The tourism committee of the Cozad Chamber of Commerce is excited to move forward with plans to establish a Barn Quilt Trail in Dawson County. Barn Quilts are considered one of the fastest growing grass-roots arts movements in the country. A Barn Quilt is painted on MDO plywood or signboard to represent a quilt design. The blocks often tell a story unique to the maker or location. This outdoor art form is touted as a vehicle for agri-tourism, a way for art to be accessible to all, and a way to beautify the community.
The Cozad Chamber of Commerce has created a dedicated section of their website devoted to promoting a trail within the Dawson county area. A listing and map of barn quilts on display will encourage tourists to discover what we have to offer. Visit and “like” the Barn Quilts of Dawson County Nebraska Facebook page to see blocks on display and keep up to date with news about this project.
NET, the PBS station based in Lincoln, Nebraska, visited Cozad the week of September 13th as part of their efforts to create a Nebraska Barn Quilt documentary showcasing several communities with active trails. They filmed local barn quilts, interviewed residents regarding the project, and captured footage from Cozad’s Ag Exposure Day where 4th and 5th grade students painted four barn quilts to display at Cozad’s school buildings. The documentary will air in March during their pledge series. This will be a great vehicle to increase exposure and encourage tourism in Dawson County.
Our goal is to have 100 quilts on display on the 100th Meridian to celebrate the approaching 100th anniversary of the Wilson Public Library being dedicated as a Carnegie library. A pinnacle of the project will be a Barn Quilt themed display during Quilts Around the Block in August 2017. We are honored to host Suzi Parron, barn quilt historian and author as our featured guest for the weekend. A variety of activities are being planned to draw local residents and tourists to the event. A goal for the Summer 2017 travel season is to have sufficient blocks on display within the county to encourage bus tours of the Dawson County Barn Quilt Trail and other local attractions.
To achieve this goal, we are seeking support from surrounding communities to promote and document barn quilts throughout Dawson County and the surrounding area. To facilitate growth in other areas of Dawson County, it would be helpful to have a coordinator identified in each community that would:
Identify and document new barn quilt placements to be included on the Dawson County Barn Quilt website
Encourage the placement of barn quilts in public areas of your communityShare information with your community about the tourism and economic benefits of a trail
If you would be willing to serve in this capacity, we’ll provide you with training and support materials.
Join us on November 30th, at 7:00 p.m. at Wilson Public Library in Cozad for a presentation on the Barn Quilts of Dawson County project. We’ll discuss the impact of the project, share our goals, and brainstorm ideas for promoting a trail. Towards the end of the meeting, we’ll have an opportunity for discussion with communities that might like to join together to support the development of a Barn Quilt Trail app.
Please feel free to share the information with anyone else in your community who would be interested in learning more.
We look forward to hearing your ideas. Feel free to give us a call to further discuss the possibilities.
The Cozad Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee
Julie Geiger (784-2010) and Laurie Yocom (784-2019)
Barn Quilts of Dawson County Project Co-Chairs