The Good Living Tour July and August, various locations. The third-annual ambitious concert series, produced by Hear Nebraska, connects Nebraska talent to Nebraska towns, encouraging the growth of the state’s music industry. Concerts will be held in: Imperial (July 1), Red Cloud (July 15), McCook (July 29), Norfolk (Aug.4), Lyons (Aug. 18), and Hastings (Aug. 19).
Slide the City July 1, at Benjamin Avenue and 25th Street, Norfolk. 1,000 feet (three football fields) of vinyl will create a family friendly slip-and-slide water party. 402-844-2000.
Fourth of July Celebration July 4 in downtown Seward. Recognized as “America’s Small Town Fourth of July City,” Seward has hosted an old-fashioned family celebration since 1868. The event attracts nearly 40,000 people and features a car show, grand parade, extravagant fireworks display, and live entertainment. 402-643-4189.
Summer Arts and Music Festival July 4 in downtown Fairbury. This summer festival includes a showcase of pottery, a blues party, and a wine and beer tasting room. 402-613-2064.
John C. Fremont Days July 14-16 in downtown Fremont. Boasting new and old attractions, the 20th annual John C. Fremont Days will feature a Spam-cooking contest, live entertainment, a car and bike show, and more. 402-727-9428.
Nebraska Book Festival July 14-15 at Constellation Studios, 2055 O St., Lincoln. Providing an opportunity for participants to cultivate an understanding of literary history and culture in Nebraska, the festival celebrates Nebraska’s literary heritage and contemporary authors to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and writing. 402-472-7710.
Cornhusker State Games July 21-30, various locations in Lincoln and Omaha. Since 1985, the Cornhusker State Games has given people the chance to play. Competitions range from track and field, to chess, to mall-walking. 402-471-2544.
Cowboy Night July 21 at Stuhr Museum, 3133 W. U.S. Highway 34, Grand Island. An evening of cowboy activities returns. The event includes branding, roping games, a horse breaking demo, live music, and s’mores at the picturesque Rural Farmstead. 308-385-5316.
Gretna Days July 27-30 in downtown Gretna. This tradition began over 50 years ago to thank the community through a picnic. Gretna Days now include a carnival, golf tournament, teen dance, craft show, fireworks show, and more. 402-378-6284.
Czech Days Aug. 4-6 in downtown Wilbur. People of all backgrounds will come to celebrate Czechoslovakian culture. Festivities range from traditional dancing to a duck and dumpling run. 402-821-2732.
Haymarket in White Aug. 4 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Dr., Lincoln. Guests to the third annual Haymarket in White Dinner & Dance will enjoy gourmet picnic fare and dance the night away. Attendees, who must dress in all white, come together to celebrate Lincoln and the Haymarket community. 402-904-4444.
Bruno Mars Aug. 7 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Dr., Lincoln. The “24k Magic World Tour” is Mars’ first full-length tour since 2013. Mars, currently deemed one of the world’s most influential artists by Rolling Stone, has sold out shows throughout the world and has continued to impress fans of all ages. 402-904-4444.
A Very Berry Kool-Aid Days Bash Aug. 11-13 in Hastings. Kool-Aid Days celebrates the sugary drink invented by Edwin Perkins. Grab a glass of Kool-Aid at the World’s Largest Kool-Aid Stand, learn about Kool-Aid and other inventions of the 1920s, and more. 402-461-8405.
Capital City Ribfest Aug. 17-19 Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Dr., Lincoln. The 21st annual Ribfest returns with loads of barbecue, sides, and music. 402-904-4444.
Eclipse Painting Night Aug. 18 at Cedar Hills Vineyard & Gardens, 48970 375th Road, Ravenna. A painting night in honor of the total solar eclipse will take place at the Cedar Hills Vineyard. Guests will paint the Howl at the Moon design. Wine and snacks will be available for purchase. 308-452-3181.
Kendrick Lamar Aug. 18 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Dr., Lincoln. Lamar’s April-released album, Damn, has already gone platinum. Hailed by Rolling Stone as “the most gifted rapper of a generation,” Lamar has earned six Grammys, including one for best album. 402-904-4444.
Solar Eclipse Viewing Aug. 21 at Homestead National Monument, 8523 Nebraska Highway 4, Beatrice. The rare spectacle of the moon passing between the sun and the Earth turns the day into night. A total solar eclipse will cross the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. The park will host NASA programs and telescopes. 402-223-3514.
Brad Paisley Aug. 25 at the Nebraska State Fair—Fonner Park, 501 E. Fonner Park Road, Grand Island. Country singer Paisley will be joined by country artists Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant, and Lindsay Ell. 308-382-1620.
Nebraska State Fair Aug. 25-Sept. 4 at Fonner Park, 501 E. Fonner Park Road, Grand Island. The 11-day event offers insights into the unique culture that is Nebraska. The fair includes a competitive livestock exhibition, carnival rides, first-class entertainment, and numerous food stands. 308-382-1620.
Independence Day. July 4 at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. Learn how Independence Day was celebrated 100 years ago. Participate in pie-eating contests, foot races, spelling bees, watermelon seed spitting contests, and more. The day will also feature a reading of the Declaration of Independence and a Victorian street parade. 515-278-5286.
80/35 Music Festival July 7-8 at Western Gateway Park, 12th and Locust streets, Des Moines. Headliners for the 10th anniversary of this music festival, named after the two interstates that cross through Des Moines, will include The Shins and MGMT.
Ioway Culture Day July 15 at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. The Ioway Nation will come to the Farms to offer visitors an opportunity to experience how they built their homes, prepared food, and farmed. Guest presenters will share their knowledge of Native American culture and technology. 515-278-5286.
An American in Paris July 18 at Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. The 2015 Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a French girl, and a mysterious European city will enchant audiences of all ages. The show earned more awards than any other musical in the 2014-2015 season. 515-246-2300.
National Balloon Classic July 28-Aug. 5 at Memorial Balloon Field, 15335 Jewell St., Indianola. Nearly 100 hot air balloons will paint the Iowa sky with brilliant colors, as live music plays on the ground beneath them. Events range from balloon races to balloon glows.
Hinterland Music Festival Aug. 4-5 at Saints Amphitheater, 3357 St. Charles Road, St. Charles. Held in a rural escape outside of Des Moines, Hinterland features a blend of music, camping, art, craft vendors, family engagement, and more. Headliners include The Head and the Heart and alt-J. 515-975-7830.
Iowa State Fair Aug. 10-20 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, E. 30th Street and E. University Avenue, Des Moines. Attracting more than 1 million people from around the world, Iowa’s salute to the best the state can offer includes exhibits ranging from livestock to doll houses, along with entertainment and achievement. Don’t forget the food! The 2016 fair offered more than 80 options that could be eaten on a stick. The fair is included in the New York Times best-selling travel book 1,000 Places to See Before you Die. 515-262-3111.
KC RiverFest July 4 at Berkley Riverfront Park, Kansas City. This Independence Day event for all ages includes 14 food trucks, two stages for musical acts, children’s crafts, and fireworks. 816-559-3750.
OneRepublic July 7 at Sprint Center,1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Since their breakout smash single “Apologize,” OneRepublic has been taking over Billboard charts. Their newest album, Oh My, was released in the fall of 2016 and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart. 816-949-7100.
Footloose The Musical July 7-9 at Missouri Theater, 717 Edmond St., St. Joseph. The Oscar and Tony-nominated musical will dazzle audiences for two nights. The musical follows Ren, a dance-loving kid from Chicago, who moves to a small farming town where dancing isn’t legal. The musical celebrates open minds, dancing, and the wisdom of listening to young people. 816-271-4628.
Queen + Adam Lambert July 9 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Since their first meeting on American Idol in 2009, Queen and Adam Lambert have created a successful combination. The concert will feature Queen favorites, including “Bohemian Rhapsody.” 816-949-7100.
National Teddy Bear Picnic Day July 10 at Kansas City Museum, 3218 Gladstone Blvd., Kansas City. This will be the city’s first celebration of National Teddy Bear Picnic Day. Families are invited to come to the front lawn of the museum with their own picnics, blankets, and teddy bears. 816-513-0720.
Murder in Maui, a Mystery Dinner July 22 at Robidoux Landing Playhouse, 103 Francis St., St. Joseph. Guests will work through clues to find out who is the murderer in the room. Two actors will be at the dinner to lead guests through a night of mystery and suspense. 816-901-9100.
Food Truck Brunch July 23 and Aug. 20 at the Roasterie, 1204 W. 27th St., Kansas City. The monthly Food Truck Brunch is a family-friendly event that encompasses an assortment of local food trucks, live music, and games. 816-931-4000.
Green Day Aug. 11 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Green Day’s legacy continues with their Revolution Radio tour. Their show will feature a mix of classic Green Day songs and their recent hits, including “Still Breathing.” 816-949-7100.
Kinky Boots Aug. 18-20 at Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City. Featuring songs by Grammy-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, the musical, based on the movie of the same name, celebrates the friendships that can be discovered and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. 816-363-7827.
Trails West Festival Aug. 18-21 in Civic Center Park, St. Joseph. Labeled a “total eclipse of the arts,” Trails West delivers a weekend of music, entertainment, and visual arts. 816-233-8467.
Rockin’ on the River Aug. 26 at Remington Nature Center, 1502 McArthur Dr., St. Joseph. A night of food, drinks, and fireworks will take place on the Missouri riverfront. Guests will also hear music from Casey Brett and Blue Oyster Culture Club. 816-271-5499.
Lionel Richie with Mariah Carey Aug. 27 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Music icon Lionel Richie had to postpone his spring “All The Hits Tour” due to an injury. He is now back on the road, bringing with him Grammy Award-winning artist Mariah Carey. 816-949-7100.
Heartland Art Guild International Miniature Paintings and Sculptures Art Show July 3-Aug. 4 at Miami County Historical Museum, 12 E. Peoria St., Paola. The 13th annual art show will feature more than 78 artists from around the world and more than 250 works of art. The catch is that paintings and sculptures can be no larger than 5” x 5” making this free art show very unique. 913-294-4940.
Junk ‘N Donuts Swap Meet July 8 & Aug. 12 at Louisburg Cider Mill, 14730 KS-68, Louisburg. 50-plus vendors will head to the mill to sell everything from antiques to new crafts, from food to gifts. Live music will be provided, as well as a country store featuring its famous apple cider donuts. 913-837-5202.
Big & Rich July 14 at Warnock Lake, 17862 274th Road, Atchison. This country-western duo is the headliner for this concert, which is part of the Amelia Earhart Festival. Also performing are Cam and Erik Dylan. 800-234-1854.
Amelia Earhart Festival July 13-15 in Atchison. This annual event celebrate Atchison’s most famous aviatrix. The festival includes “Grandfather Earhart’s” ice cream social, a carnival, “Breakfast with the Books” by authors about Amelia, a crafts fair, and flyovers; and it finishes with the “Concert in the Sky” fireworks show. 1-800-234-1854.
Tiblow Days Aug. 17-19 in downtown Bonner Springs. The three-day festival features the “Smokin’ On Oak” barbecue competition, a carnival, mayor’s banquet, craft and food booths, live music, parades, car shows, and more. 913-422-1020.
Blacksmith and Pioneer Days Aug. 19-20 at Transue Brothers Blacksmith and Wagon Shop, 309 Main St., Summerfield. The two-day event features blacksmithing, Dutch oven cooking, butter making, and other traditional activities. Guests can expect old-fashioned ice cream, wood carving, skull painting, and marble blowing. 402-520-0644.
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