On the first Saturday of the New Year Pepsi rallied fans for
this year’s super bowl halftime show right here in Nebraska. Milligan became
center stage to kick things off. Pepsi took over the small town placing vending
machines every few yards with no fee.
A surprise country star also made a visit and put on a free
concert to drum up the excitement. York high school band and spirit squad was asked
to be featured in Pepsi commercial shoots to get people hyped up for halftime.
Main Street was transformed with a stage, multiple vending
machines, and Pepsi handing out memorabilia to everyone in the rural community.
Pepsi chose Milligan Nebraska as the halfway point of America. This small town
is just one stop of many to come for the Pepsi surprises.
"This is huge, this never happens," said Katie O’Brian
a fan from Crete. An unexpected place for such a giant event – one the featured
York high school band said they’ll never forget.
"I went to my
band director and said I have a chance of a lifetime let’s jump at it so we
did," said Principal of York High School Mitch Bartholomew.
professional cameras, it’s almost like a little dream, you’re a movie
star," said Jon Fletcher a senior percussionist at York High School.
"At one point they were like we’ve told you 75 percent
of what you know and the rest of it will remain confidential until you get
there so the anticipation is building it’s a really exciting experience for all
of us," said senior Emily Meisinger the drum major for York High School.
York students knew
they would be performing for a big audience but many didn’t know the surprise
at the end of the day.
"I did not know Lee Brice was performing," said
Meisinger. "Oh we didn’t even know it
was him until on the way here and then we were excited," said Caitlyn
Hagginson a fan from Crete. "We didn’t find out until this morning actually. We
were like we are coming anyway," said O’Brian.
The below freezing
temps did not keep fans away. "It’s free so why not… we are used to this
anyway." "They have not even flinched that the fact that it’s this
cold and so we are going to do the same thing we are going to come out and rock
out," said country music star Lee Brice.
People came from all parts of Nebraska to hear Lee Brice sing.
"Parking Lot Party… yea…
it’s our favorite," said two 12 year old girls who just took a picture
with the country singer. "We love you Lee Brice!" "Lee Brice…
"We are pumped, excited, we love all of his songs…
big fans," said Carlee Reistroffer a fan from Crete.
In one day, with Pepsi’s in hand, a town of nearly 300 ballooned
to 5,000. A day locals said will be talked about for years to come.
"We need more events
like this in small town rural Nebraska," said Norman Marks a resident from
Geneva. "It hasn’t really sunk in that little York Nebraska is going to be
on the map," said Fletcher. "You know here in five ten twenty years I
guarantee these will come up as a great memory of a high school
experience," said Bartholomew.
And Brice says he’s happy to be a part of that experience.
"It feels like I’m back at home. It makes my heart jump for joy to be able to
hang out with my kind of folks."
Nebraskan’s who are crazy about their country music, "it’s
people that my genre of music… country music is all about and to be able to
see this town that’s about farms, and things that keep the country going and to
be able to bring something to this town ah it’s such an honor," explained
Lee Brice sang about ten songs and the night ended with fireworks.