Heritage Highway Photo Contest

The Heritage Highway 136 Byway Community would like to invite you to participate in a photography contest sponsored by local towns along the beautiful, historic journey that is our Heritage Highway. Photographs spanning a range of categories will be accepted, and prizes are available for winners.

Heritage Highway Photo Contest Guidelines

Heritage Highway 136 Photo ContestBoth digital and mailed submissions are required for the Heritage Highway Photo Contest*, and no mailed submissions will be returned, but used for viewing and judging purposes, and incorporated into a traveling exhibit.

*Participation in this contest gives Heritage Highway Association and the communities along the Byway the rights to use images in any marketing materials used to promote the Byway communities or region.


  • Digital submissions must be at least 300 dpi.
    (Note: Title must be noted in the email subject line – e.g. HH136 Photo Contest Entry – Homestead Days Fun)
  • Physical submissions must be at least 8 x 10 inches.
    (Note: Title and name of photographer must be written on the back of the photograph) Color and/or black and white photos are accepted
  • Photos must have been taken within 30 miles of the Heritage Byway - U.S. Hwy 136
  • Photos must have been taken since the designation of the Heritage Highway Scenic Byway in October, 1999
  • Photos for the 2014-15 contest must be of a TOURISM ATTRACTION or COMMUNITY EVENT

Entries are due between May 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015. Send or deliver physical submissions to the Heritage Highway Association, c/o Jenna Epp, 507 5th Street, Fairbury, NE  68352, & email digital submissions to JEpp@Fairbury.com

Viewer's Choice Award: Participants will automatically be eligible for the Viewer's Choice Award. Photographs will be on display at Stagecoach Mall Antiques & Tasting Room in Fairbury for physical viewing and voting during the month of May 2015, and also displayed on the Heritage Highway website at www.heritagehighway136.com.

Winners will be announced at a reception in Fairbury during the Fairbury First Friday Art Walk in June, 2015. Photos can also be viewed online on Heritage Highway's Facebook Page. Online votes can be cast by emailing your pick for the Viewer's Choice Award to FairburyNE@gmail.com.  Be sure to check local media outlets, facebook or Heritage Highway's website for updates and contest results.

Click here for a contest submission form.

Heritage Highway Photo Contest Prizes

Fairbury Executive Suites, Heritage Highway 136 Photo Contest Prize PackagePure Serenite Spa, Fairbury NebraskaFairbury Package
1 night's stay at Fairbury Executive Suites, 10% off coupon at Stagecoach Mall Antiques & Tasting Room, Lunch at Main Street Coffee House, Spa Treatment at Pure Serenite Spa & Salon.



Red Cloud Opera House, Red Cloud NebraskaWilla Cather Second Home, Red Cloud NebraskaRed Cloud Package

1 night's stay at the historic Cather Second Home; 2 free 3-building tours of the Cather historic sites; 2 tickets to the Red Cloud Opera House; lunch for 2 at the Palace Steakhouse; 9 holes of golf at the Red Cloud Country Club; breakfast for 2 at the Red Brick Cafe; coffee & snack for 2 at Twisted Sisters; drinks for 2 at Sandy's South Bar; and a packaged of barn-grown corn meal and a package of ground corn meal from the Starke Round Barn




My Blue Heaven, Pawnee City NebraskaSchilling Bridge Winery, Pawnee City NebraskaPawnee City Package
1 night's stay at My Blue Heaven B&B; free admission at the Harold Lloyd Museum; free admission at the Pawnee City Historical Museum. $15 gift certificate to Pawnee Café; and a free gourmet pizza from Schilling Bridge Winery & Micro-brewery.






Tecumseh and Johnson County Heritage Highway 136 Photo Contest, NebraskaTecumseh and Johnson County Heritage Highway 136 Photo Contest, NebraskaTecumseh/Johnson County Package
Two $25 gift certificates to Chief Drug; one $25 gift certificate to Harvest Bowl; one $25 gift certificate to Frazier’s Café; and four tickets to Deer Creek Sodbusters Antique Machinery Show.




Heritage Highway Photo Contest Judges

Valerie Knobel, Heritage Highway 136 Photo Contest JudgeValerie Knobel
Valerie Knobel has been studying and painting the Nebraska landscape for over 30 years. She serves as Departmental Chair and Professor of Art for Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, where she teaches art and visual culture studies. Valerie holds a BA in Studio art and an MA in Design, and has completed further study at The International Institute of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture in Todi, Italy. She is currently a PhD candidate in Art and Design at Monash Univer-sity in Melbourne, Australia. Valerie's work has been accepted in national and international juried exhibitions, commissioned by private as well as public entities, and is represented by Gallery Nine in Lincoln, Nebraska.
For more information on the artist and her work, visit:

Holly Troxel, Heritage Highway 136 Photo Contest JudgeArt Whitton
I can’t remember not having a camera. I can remember the first time I wanted more out of photography, though. I was about 8 or so, and I took a photo of an Orca at the Vancouver Aquarium. When I got the photos back from the processor – there it was: a nice, clear photo of the whale at the peak of its jump with a bit of sun flare that framed the great animal. That’s when it started.
For more information on the artist and his work, visit: http://artwhitton.com/




Dennis Zabel, Heritage Highway 136 NebraskaDennis Zabel
According to Zabel, photography has provided an artistic outlet and a way to show how our communities change. “About 15 years ago I gave myself an assignment to photograph the small towns I came across while traveling.  That led to a more intensive effort to record what’s left of many of our local rural villages, many on their way to extinction and ‘ghost town’ status.  Many of the structures and main streets I photographed are already gone,” he said.

Zabel learned much of the ‘how to’ of photography from Steve Traudt’s Synergistic Visions photography workshops in the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado. “There is great satisfaction in capturing light at just the right moment,” he said. Like many others, Zabel started with amateur film, went to pro-film and now shoots all digital. He is a member and a former president of the Lincoln Camera Club and a member of the Photographic Society of America.

The camera has also led Zabel to photographic adventures in Arizona, California, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming. Some of his favorite photographic memories and images are from trips to the Navajo Nation with the creative folks from Arizona Highways Magazine. “We not only found great subject matter, but became immersed in Navajo culture and history and I am looking forward to sharing some of those photos, as well,” Zabel said.