BY TRISTON FAIRCHILD | ILLUSTRATION BY LAUREN FEDEN | COLOR BY LEAH ELY
Papillion being named #2 nationally as a place to live by Money magazine might not surprise you because of the banners on the streetlights and chatter about the town, but what may surprise you is how Papillion’s roots shape its citizens. Is Papillion really a top 10 city to live in? We here in Papillion have a generally high quality of living compared to those of cities in other regions, but what really sends Papillion over the top with the critics and newswriters at Money magazine? Money magazine says that the “great schools, good jobs and wallet-friendly housing” are some of the reasons for the high ranking. When asked what he feels is significantly unique about Papillion, Nebraska or “Papio”. Senior Brian Lapke said, “Papillion has a lot of large town amenities like a movie theater and restaurants. The downtown area is aged and has history, but most of the shops have been restored to look new.”
These amenities seem to have an impact on the quality of life and happiness amongst the citizens of Papillion. Without these things to keep us busy, one may go crazy over boredom or develop “cabin fever” and the citizens of Papio seem to always be looking for new and fun entertainment.
Much like a Husker fan takes pride in the Big Red, people of Papillion have been noticed to have been taking pride in their city. History teacher Joe Cooley has lived in Papillion for all but 6 years of his life. He said, “People seem to like to say they’re from Papillion and have pride in their community because most people who are in Papillion either grow up here or have some sort of ties.”
On the topic of the article about papillion ranking top 10, Mr. Cooley said, “I think it’s great because of all the new projects they have been doing such as revitalizing downtown, Shadow Lake, Parks and Rec and even the Storm Chasers have made papillion the place to be. Papillion is worthy for sure.”
The top 10 ranking of the nation’s cities by Money magazine has drawn attention to Papillion on the national spotlight and with the notoriety comes all-eyes on the top performers. The impact of Papillion’s born-and-raised-here people on the world has been seen time and time again from professional sports to multi-million dollar cooporations. Do most of the people that Papillion produce live up to this “Papio pride”?
Freshman Alexis Bremer said, “Papillion has good people who are helpful and up-front. The hard working attitude and small town feel is definitely felt here.”
Although we are a suburban city and downtown is only a 20 minute drive, Papillion is known and seen to the masses as small town Nebraska.
Freshman Petra Ulrich, who has lived here her entire life, agreed with Bremer when she said, “Papillion’s people are better than most because of the friendliness and willingness to serve others. Its a helpful mindset that people here have.”
The difference that people in Papillion make can even be seen from people moving just a few miles down the road. Freshman Alyssa Tarczon who moved here from Ralston said, “The difference in people can even be seen just from moving across town. Papillion is very inviting and deserves to be top 10.”
Are we really that great? With every good thing comes its downside. Highlighting a few of Papillions faults, Sophomore Elisabeth Jackson said, “I don’t like how it isn’t a big city because there isn’t much to do here on an average day. Also, the small town feel can get annoying. I would like to be able to go hang out and not see everyone I know in public.”
The size of Papillion can seem to hinder the amount of adventure and excitement one can find on your typical day. The lack of an In-N-Out Burger, an amusement park or even a real professional sports team bring forth a few points to ponder about potential downfalls of Papillion. While some may sit inside and moan and groan, others make do with what they’re given. Junior Brett Brooke said, “Theres always something to do, you just have to look. The people who are always bored are probably not trying to plan anything or can’t think outside of the box.”
What is there to do in Papillion anyway? Well, every summer is a top rated traveling carnival which we know as Papillion Days. With recreational pools like Papio Bay and a newly renovated bowling alley in Papio Bowl, there’s always something to do. Grabbing some shaved ice at Sno Shack in Papio Bowl’s parking lot has become a staple for many of Papillion’s teens on a hot summer’s day. Papio Fun Park also brings the excitement of go-karts, bouncy basketball, putt-putt, and even laser tag. Although it isn’t Worlds of Fun, Papillion can be exciting and leisurely.
With the lack of overly-exciting entertainment, do people in the community and nationwide believe Papillion is worthy of being a top 10 city in the U.S.? What do you think, do you love it here or can you not wait to leave this suburban city?