Tag Archives: festivals

September/October 2018 Calendar of Events

Art & Museum Exhibits
Stage Performances
Concerts
Family & More

Art & Museum Exhibits

Jevon Woods
Through Sept. 7 at Love’s Jazz & Arts Center 2510 N. 24th St. Woods’ work captures the essence of social and historical figures and explores the intricacies of Afrocentric everyday life. Admission: $10 adults, $7 students and seniors (ages 55+), $5 children ages 6-12, free for children age 5 and under. 402-502-5291.
ljac.org

Treasures of British Art 1400-2000: The Berger Collection
Through Sept. 9 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. Take a look at 50 masterworks from one of the most private collections of British painting in the U.S. Tickets: $10 general public ($5 4-8 p.m. Thursdays), $5 college students, free for Joslyn members and ages 17 and younger. 402-342-3300.
joslyn.org

Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism
Through Sept. 15 at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St. This exhibit examines how Pepe often plays with feminist and craft traditions to counter patriarchal notions of art. Admission: free. 402-341-7130.
bemiscenter.org

Kristine Allphin: Taking Root
Through Sept. 16 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. This exhibit celebrates batik, an ancient decorative art used to embellish textiles, and the various forms of beauty found in the natural world. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children ages 6-12, free for children under 6 and members. 402-346-4002.
lauritzengardens.org

Betni Kalk
Through Sept. 21 at Fred Simon Gallery, 1004 Farnam St. View the works of Kalk, a Creighton University design instructor inspired by the natural world. Admission: free. 402-595-2122.
artscouncil.nebraska.gov

Reality
Through Sept. 26 at KANEKO, 1111 Jones St. This exhibit investigates art, science, and technology that creates, alters, and reflects upon the sense of what’s real. Admission: free. 402-341-3800.
thekaneko.org

Museum of Nebraska Art Traveling Exhibition
Sept. 7-Oct. 28 at Gallery 1516, 1516 Leavenworth St. Come see the works of artists from across the state at MONA’s traveling exhibition. MONA was developed in 1976 to create an art collective that celebrates Nebraska’s unique artistic heritage. Admission: free. 402-305-1510.
gallery1516.org

Thomas D. Mangelsen: A Life in the Wild
Sept. 1 through Jan. 6, 2019 at Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. The Durham Museum hosts the world premiere of 40 of this acclaimed nature photographer’s works. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 2 and members. 402-444-5071.
durhammuseum.org

Dottie Seymour, Virginia Ocken, Glenda Musilek, and Judy Greff
Sept. 7-30 at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, 405 S. 11th St. Discover the paintings by these featured artists, which range from watercolor to acrylic, with subjects from horses to abstract images. Admission: free. 402-342-9617.
artistscoopomaha.com

Watie White and Brent Houzenga
Sept. 7-Oct. 26 at Petshop Gallery, 2725 N. 62nd St. Take part in the notable printmaking and portraiture of White and Houzenga at the gallery in Benson’s Petshop. Admission: free. 402-203-5488.
facebook.com/bensonpetshop

James Bockelman
Sept. 14-Oct. 5 at Project Project, 1818 Vinton St. This exhibit showcases James Bockelman’s modern works. Bockelman is an art professor at Concordia University. Admission: free. 402-680-6737.
projectprojectomaha.com

John Thein
Sept. 14-Oct. 12 at Lied Art Gallery, 2500 California Plaza. Take in new oil paint and watercolor pieces by Creighton professor Thein. Admission: free. 402-280-2509.
johnthein.com

Todd McCollister and Katie Temple
Starting Sept. 28-Nov. 23 at Fred Simon Gallery, 1004 Farnam St. View McCollister’s long-grain furniture and woodwork and Temple’s architecture-inspired art. Admission: free. 402-595-2122.
artscouncil.nebraska.gov

Kay Chapman: Wearable Art
Oct. 2-4 at Anderson O’Brien Art, 1108 Jackson St. Chapman uses natural fibers such as silk, cotton, linen, and wool to create clothing that is subtle and bold. See her work and understand the inspirations behind her designs. Admission: free. 402-884-0911.
aobfineart.com

Cindy Mathiason, Elisa Benn, and Courtney Christiansen
Oct. 5 at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, 405 S. 11th St. Enjoy artwork by three featured artists during the month of October, with pieces ranging from oil and charcoal portraits to nature photography. Admission: free. 402-342-9617.
artistscoopomaha.com

Northwest Missouri State Faculty Invitational
Oct. 5-Nov. 9 at Osborne Family Gallery in Criss Library, 6401 University Dr. N. Take in the works of a shared art community from Northwest Missouri State University. Admission: free. 402-554-2796.
unomaha.edu

Joe Pankowski
Oct. 5-Nov. 30 at Petshop Gallery, 2725 N. 62nd St. This University of Nebraska-Omaha alum brings his sketches—turned paintings, films, gadgets, and more—to the local gallery. Admission: free. 402-203-5488.
facebook.com/bensonpetshop 

Fall Chrysanthemum Show
Oct. 6-Nov. 16 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Discover a fascinating fabrication of flowers. Bold mums combine with vibrant and diverse colors, textures, and fabrics representative of Japanese culture. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children (6-12), free for children under 6 and members. 402-346-4002. 
lauritzengardens.org

Japanese Ambience Festival
Oct. 6-7 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Participate in cultural events and celebrate Omaha’s special relationship with Japan. Hosted by the Omaha Sister Cities Association, the event will include a wide range of activities like Japanese calligraphy, origami, food tastings, martial arts demonstrations, and more. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Most activities included with regular admission, $10 adults, $5 children (6-12), free for children under 6 and members. 402-346-4002.
lauritzengardens.org

Pattern and Purpose: American Quilts from the Shelburne Museum
Oct. 6 through Jan. 6, 2019, at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. View 35 quilt designs by traditional and contemporary makers inspired by everything from nature to geometric patterns. Tickets: $10 general public, $5 college students, free for Joslyn members and ages 17 and younger. 402-342-3300.
joslyn.org

Sarah Hummel Jones
Starting Oct. 12 at Project Project, 1818 Vinton St. Sarah Hummel Jones is an interdisciplinary artist who works with a variety of materials and teaches students across the nation. Admission: free. 402-680-6737.
projectprojectomaha.com

Dia De Los Muertos
Starting Oct. 13 at El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St. Celebrate the Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead by viewing an exhibit and memorial ofrenda. Admission: $5 general admission, $4 college students with ID, $3.50 students K-12 and senior citizens (55+), free for members, active military with ID, and children under 5. 402-731-1137.
elmuseolatino.org

Benefit Art Auction Exhibition
Oct. 13-26 at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St. This annual exhibition will feature more than 300 works from local, regional, and national artists. All proceeds will benefit artists and raise funds for Bemis Center programs. 402-341-7130.
bemiscenter.org

Super Sports: Building Strength, Sportsmanship, and Smarts
Starting Oct. 13 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St. This special exhibit is a hands-on exploration of sports, with skill-building experiences through play. Admission: $13 children and adults, $12 seniors (age 60+), free for children 2 and younger and members. 402-342-6164.
ocm.org

Top of page

Stage Performances

Bagels & Sometimes Bach
Sundays starting Sept. 2, at Gallery 1516, 1516 Leavenworth St. Partake in a community breakfast with entertainment from musicians around Omaha, including the University of Nebraska-Omaha Music Department, Opera Omaha, Omaha Chamber Music Society, and more. Doors open 11 a.m. Admission: free. 402-305-1510.
gallery1516.org

Maria Bamford
Sept. 2 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This Comedy Central-hailing comedian brings her realistic and revelatory stand-up to the Omaha stage. Bamford is best known for her semi-autobiographical Netflix series Lady Dynamite. 8 p.m. Tickets: $25 advance, $30 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

Fun Home
Through Sept. 16 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. When Alison’s father dies unexpectedly, she explores her past to tell the story of their tumultuous relationship. Based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel. Times vary. Tickets: $42 and up. 402-553-0800.
omahaplayhouse.com

Fortune Feimster 
Sept. 7-8 at Funny Bone, 17305 Davenport St., No. 201. Known for her roles in Office Christmas Party and The Mindy Project, witness the comedic skill of Fortune Feimster. 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $25. Ages 21 and up. 402-493-8036.
omaha.funnybone.com

Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt
Sept. 7-23 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St. Bring the family to see this book-based production about two adventurous siblings with an appetite for the pirate’s life. 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: free for members, $20 for nonmembers. 402-345-4849.
rosetheater.org

TJ Miller
Sept. 13-15 at Funny Bone, 17305 Davenport St., No. 201. This improvisation and stand-up pro was featured in comedic superhero blockbuster Deadpool. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $30. Ages 21 and up. 402-493-8036.
omaha.funnybone.com

Shrek the Musical
Sept. 14-Oct. 14 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. Based on the 2001 DreamWorks Animation film, this musical tells the family-favorite story of classic fairy-tale characters—and an unapologetic green ogre. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $20 and up. 402-553-0800.
omahaplayhouse.com

Rodney Carrington
Sept. 20 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St. Carrington is best known for his ABC comedy, Rodney, and has released eight comedy albums. 8 p.m. Tickets: $30-$50. 402-934-9966. 
ralstonarena.com

Gatsby on 16th Street
Sept. 22 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. Attend a throwback to the 1920s with an evening of glitz and glamour, including refreshments and hors d’oeuvres, as well as performances by the Hot Tail Honeys, Doom Lagoon, and The Good Gurls. This event is for ages 21 and up. Cocktail hour at 6 p.m., main event at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $35 general, $140 VIP. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

The Clearing
Sept. 26-29, Oct. 3-6 at UNO Theatre, Weber Fine Arts Building, 6001 Dodge St. Learn the story of a community caught in the crossfire of Oliver Cromwell’s Irish genocide in the 17th century. All shows at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $16 general admission, free for students who present MavCard. 402-554-7529.
unomaha.edu

Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends: New Worlds
Sept. 30 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Master comedian and cellist have joined forces to develop a fascinating one-of-a-kind show celebrating their shared love of music and literature. 7 p.m. Tickets: $49-$250. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Goosebumps: The Musical—The Phantom of the Auditorium
Oct. 26- Nov. 11 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St. This musical will leave audience members feeling silly—and perhaps with their hair on end. 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $20 for nonmembers, free for members. 402-345-4849.
rosetheater.org

Black Violin’s “Classical Boom Tour”

Oct. 4 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Spend the evening listening to the stylings of Kev Marcus on violin and Wil B on viola, performing their signature blend of popular and classical music. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $20-$55. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Eric Schwartz
Oct. 4 at The Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This comedian will perform a show that highlights his talents as an actor, musician, voiceover artist and content creator. 8 p.m. Tickets: $15 advance, $18 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

iLuminate
Oct. 6 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. This techno-dance group from America’s Got Talent is known for their electrified glow-in-the-dark suits that light up the stage with illusions and imagination. See them with the whole family. 7 p.m. Tickets: $22-$38. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

She Kills Monsters
Oct. 12-Nov. 4 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. Agnes Evans stumbles upon the Dungeons & Dragons notebook of her late sister and finds herself on a comedic, fantastical adventure. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $18+. 402-553-0800.
omahaplayhouse.com

The Little Engine That Could
Oct. 12-Nov. 4 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St. Climb aboard for this classic production and learn the life lesson of persistence told by a group of talented actors. 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $12 nonmembers; $10 members.
rosetheater.org

Bert ‘The Machine’ Kreischer
Oct. 18-20 at Funny Bone, 17305 Davenport St. No. 201. A self-proclaimed “perpetual man-child,” Kreischer’s stand-up is sure to be full of laughs, college party stories, and many shirtless moments. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $40-50. Ages 21 and up. 402-493-8036.
omaha.funnybone.com

Bill Engvall
Oct. 19 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St. Known for his leading role in The Bill Engvall Show, Engvall will show audiences a night of knee-slapping comedy with a Southern twang. 7 p.m. Tickets: $35-$60. 402-934-6291.
ralstonarena.com

Dorrance Dance
Oct. 24 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. This NYC-based troupe is known for their electronic tap dancing, which aims to honor the history of dance while also incorporating a modern context. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $20+. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

LIVE @ The Backline
Oct. 27 at The Backline Comedy Theatre, 1618 Harney St. In the spirit of Saturday Night Live, this show is back with a guest host and musical performance, as well as new sketches written by Omaha’s best comedians. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $12. 402-720-7670.
backlinecomedy.com

The Play That Goes Wrong
Oct. 30-Nov. 4 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. This London-born play embraces comedic storytelling that is part Monty Python and part Sherlock Holmes. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $87 and up. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Handled
Oct. 31-Nov. 4 at Creighton Lied Education Center for the Arts, 2500 California Plaza. This play by Chicago playwright Shayne Kennedy explores the concepts of mental illness, the stigma that surrounds anxiety and depression, and the burden of presenting the “perfect self” on social media. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $5 students, $15 seniors, $18 adults. 402-280-1448.
creighton.edu

Top of page

Concerts

Shakey Graves
Sept. 1 at Sokol Auditorium, 2234 S. 13th St. This Austin native crosses blues, folk, and rock ’n’ roll, and has been shaking up the music scene since 2007. 8 p.m. Tickets: $27 advance, $30 day of show. 402-346-9802.
sokolauditorium.com

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Sept. 2 at The Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. These two musicians will swap songs and tell stories in conjunction with rhythm and blues. 5 p.m. Tickets: $20 advance, $25 day of show. 402-884-5353. 
waitingroomlounge.com

Lake Street Dive
Sept. 4 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This group mixes classic pop and swing-era jazz to promote self-empowerment with a dazzling performance. 8 p.m. Tickets: $29 advance, $32 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

Fozzy
Sept. 6 at The Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. Their unique rock ’n’ roll sound that may include an ABBA cover. Adelitas Way, Stone Broken and The Stir will also perform. 7 p.m. Tickets: $18 advance, $20 day of show. 402-884-5353.
waitingroomlounge.com

The Temptations And The Four Tops
Sept. 6 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. Sit and sway to two legendary Motown groups as they sing hits like “My Girl” and “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” that will put a happy-go-lucky rhythm in the auditorium. 7:30 p.m. $49.50-$89.50. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Wovenhand
Sept. 7 at Lookout Lounge, 320 S. 72nd St. Fronted and founded by Colorado native David Eugene Edwards, Wovenhand jumps between folk and gospel music, calling themselves alt-country.8 p.m. Tickets: $10 advance. 402-391-2554.
lookoutomaha.com

Pentatonix
Sept. 11 at Stir Cove, 1 Harrah’s Blvd., Council Bluffs. This a cappella group originated on YouTube, and often perform covers of popular songs as well as their own original tunes. 8 p.m. Tickets: $71-$153. 712-329-6000.
caesars.com

Marbin
Sept. 12 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. This Chicago-hailing jazz-rock band will grace Omaha with its progressive sound, playing from six studio albums. 8 p.m. Tickets: $12 advance, $15 day of show. 402-884-5707.
reverblounge.com

Nahko & Medicine For The People
Sept. 12 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This Native American group will present their latest work, which is inspired by faith, nature, and activism. Xiuhtezcatl will open the show. 9 p.m. Tickets: $23 advance, $25 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

Counting Crows
Sept. 13 at Stir Cove, 1 Harrah’s Blvd., Council Bluffs. This California-based rock band has been on the front of the scene since 1991, performing hits such as “Mr. Jones and Me” and “Omaha.” 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $66-$153. 712-329-6000.
caesars.com

Here Come The Mummies
Sept. 13 at Slowdown, 728 N. 14th St. This eight-piece Nashville funk-rock band is known for keeping their identities “under wraps” in their live performances dressed as mummies. 8 p.m. Tickets: $22 advance, $25 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

Colt Ford
Sept. 14 at Bourbon Saloon, 311 S. 15th St. Once a pro-golfer, this musician combines country and EDM, as he aims to cultivate a universal musical message for listeners everywhere. 7 p.m. Tickets: $25. Ages 18 and up. 402-884-2259.
bourbonsaloonomaha.com

Red Fang
Sept. 14 at the Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. This Portland-based stoner metal band is ready to head-bang all night. Big Business and Dead Now will open the show. 9 p.m. Tickets: $20 advance, $22 day of show. 402-884-5353.
waitingroomlounge.com

Amernet String Quartet
Sept. 16 at Vesper Concerts, 1517 S. 114th St. This string quartet will make an onstage appearance to perform their classical works. 3 p.m. Admission: free. 402-333-7466.
vesperconcerts.org

Hed PE
Sept. 17 at Lookout Lounge, 320 S. 72nd St. Hed PE is a nu-metal band that has fused together punk-rock heritage with modern hip-hop beats. They will be joined by Murderhouse, Before I Burn, and Jonasty. 7 p.m. Tickets: $15 advance, $20 day of show. 402-391-2554.
lookoutomaha.com

Alan Jackson’s “The Honky Tonk Highway Tour”
Sept. 21 at CHI Health Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St. This award-winning country star will perform a show that will draw in longtime and new fans. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $39.99-$129.99. 402-341-1500.
chihealthcenteromaha.com

Deep Purple and Judas Priest
Sept. 21 at Stir Cove, 1 Harrah’s Blvd., Council Bluffs. These hard-rock veterans are teaming up. Deep Purple recently released their 20th studio album, while Judas Priest is on No. 18. 7 p.m. Ages 21 and up. Tickets: $68-$202. 712-329-6000.
caesars.com

Midwest Masquerade 2018
Sept. 22 at Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. This annual event aims to combine the elegant feel of a traditional masquerade ball with the upbeat and electric environment of a music festival. 8 p.m. Tickets: $12-$30. 402-884-6291.
waitingroomlounge.com

Bad Bunny
Sept. 27 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St. This 24-year-old Puerto Rican pop star sings a combination of Latin trap and reggaeton tunes. 8 p.m. Tickets: $49-$149. 402-934-9966.
ralstonarena.com

Gary Numan
Sept. 27 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This British new wave pioneer of synth-pop has produced 22 studio albums. 8 p.m. Tickets: $25 advance, $28 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

The Buttertones
Oct. 1 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. Formed in 2012, this alternative rock group draws from multitudes of rock genres like surf, garage, and post-punk. 8 p.m. Tickets: $12 advance, $14 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

The Decemberists
Oct. 1 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. This five-member indie-rock group just released their newest album, I’ll Be Your Girl. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $40-$199. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

the Julian Lage Trio
Oct. 2 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Known for his killer guitar work, Julian Lage’s music has been described as a mix of jazz, folk, classical, and country. 8 p.m. Tickets: $17 advance, $20 day of show. 402-884-5707.
reverblounge.com

Bob Moses
Oct. 2 at Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. Bob Moses is a Vancouver-bred duo consisting of Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance. Their electronic beats mesh with classic songwriting and lyricism to dominate the stage. Mansionair will also perform. 8 p.m. Tickets: $25. 402-884-5353.
waitingroomlounge.com

Ryley Walker
Oct. 2 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This folk artist is changing his sound to have a little more looseness and imagination than previous works. 8 p.m. Tickets: $12 advance, $15 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

Jeremy Zucker
Oct. 3 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This moody songwriter is known for biting lyrics and emotional singles. Carlie Hanson will open the show. 8 p.m. Tickets: $12 advance, $15 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

Lord Huron
Oct. 3 at Sokol Auditorium, 2234 S. 13th St. This band, created by Ben Schneider, has played at well-established music festivals, such as the Capitol Hill Block Party and the Calgary Folk Music Festival. Expect to hear fan favorites like “The Night We Met,” as well as recent releases from their album Vide Noir. 8 p.m. Tickets: $29. 402-346-9802.
sokolauditorium.com

Spag Heddy
Oct. 4 at Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. This group will bring their dubstep and electronic jams for a night of dance and upbeat performance. 9 p.m. Tickets: $15 advance, $18 day of show. 402-884-5353.
waitingroomlounge.com

Meg Myers
Oct. 7 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This singer-songwriter’s tunes will sweep the audience with emotion and empathy as she tells the details of her interesting backstory. 7 p.m. Tickets: $17 advance, $20 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

Neck Deep
Oct. 7 at Sokol Auditorium, 2234 S. 13th St. Spend your evening with fellow pop-punk fans. Stand Atlantic, WSTR, and Gardenside will open the show. 7 p.m. Tickets: $22 advance, $25 day of show, $82 VIP. 402-346-9802.
sokolauditorium.com

The Essex Green
Oct. 8 at Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. This three-piece indie-rock band just released their newest album Hardly Electronic. 8 p.m. Tickets: $10. 402-884-5707.
reverblounge.com 

The Wombats
Oct. 9 at the Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St. This rock band will play sing-along classics like “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” and “Tokyo,” as well as new, more mature pieces like “Lemon to a Knife Fight.” 8 p.m. Tickets: $20. 402-884-5353.
waitingroomlounge.com

Dreamers
Oct. 13 at The Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This cosmic rock trio will take the stage to play their sophomore album Phenomena. Weathers and Rad Horror will open the show. 9 p.m. Tickets: $12 advance, $15 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

Lauv Fall 2018 Tour
Oct. 16 at Sokol Auditorium, 2234 S. 13th St. This 23-year-old sensation plays modern pop hits like “I Like Me Better” and “Chasing Fire.” Charlotte Lawrence will open the show. 8 p.m. Tickets: $22 advance, $25 day of show. 402-346-9802.
sokolauditorium.com

OK Go’s “The Live Video Tour”
Oct. 19 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. This rock band will perform live and in sync with 20 of their fan-favorite videos, as well as host question and answer sessions with the audience. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $35-$50. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Gladys Knight
Oct. 20 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Relish in the live performance of the soulful and iconic R&B tunes of seven-time Grammy-winner Gladys Knight. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $35-$119. 402-345-0606.
ticketomaha.com

Darwin Deez
Oct. 22 at The Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This indie band will play songs from their new album, 10 Songs That Happened When You Left Me With My Stupid Heart.7 p.m. Tickets: $15 advance, $18 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

Colony House
Oct. 27 at The Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St. This American indie-rock quartet is a self-described cross between the Beach Boys and Vampire Weekend. 9 p.m. Tickets: $16 advance, $18 day of show. 402-345-7569.
theslowdown.com

Top of page

Family & More

La Festa Italiana
Through Sept. 2 at American Italian Heritage Society, 5110 N. 132nd St. This 34th annual festival features authentic Italian food, wine, beer, fireworks, games, dancing, and more. 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday; 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-11 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $5.50 in advance, $7 at the door, free for children under 12 with an adult. 402-493-8888.
omahaitaly.com

SeptemberFest
Through Sept. 3 at CHI Health Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St. Omaha’s annual salute to labor includes live music, a carnival, arts and crafts, food, and more. In addition, the festival ends with Omaha’s largest parade on Labor Day. 5 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday-Monday; 10 a.m. Labor Day parade. Admission: $7 per person ages 6 and up, per day, free for children under 5. 
septemberfestomaha.org

Midwest Paranormal History/Ghost Tours
Through Oct. 19 at various locations. Explore the sinister past of Omaha and learn about the spooky legends and lore. Hear the stories and reports of paranormal activity and go on a ghost hunt. Various types of tours are available. Time is based on sunset. Admission: $10-$20 per person, reserve by phone. 402-953-9670.
mphtours.com

Centered: Let Us Face the Reality of Our Time Without Panic
Sept. 1 at KANEKO, 1111 Jones St. Participate in learning about the healing arts through meditation, artistic practices, laughter, humor, and more. Find guidance from professionals in the field and leave refreshed and calm. 6-8 p.m. Tickets: $24. 402-341-3800.
thekaneko.org

38th Annual Zoo Run
Sept. 2 at Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium 3701 S. 10th St. Lace up your shoes or sharpen your claws to participate in this annual fun run. All participants will receive medals, bagels, bananas, and free zoo admission on the day of the five-mile run and two-mile run/walk. 6-9 a.m. Registration cost: $30 for members, $40 for nonmembers. Advanced registration available online. 402-738-2038.
omahazoo.com

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Sept. 6 at Joslyn Art Museum Witherspoon Concert Hall, 2200 Dodge St. Attend a viewing of the 1975 British classic. A cash bar will also compliment the feature film. 5 p.m. cash bar, 6:30 p.m. movie. Admission: $5 Joslyn members, $10 general public. 402-661-3862.
joslyn.org

Gerda’s Oktoberfest
Sept. 7-8 at Gerda’s Restaurant and Bakery, 5180 Leavenworth St. Attend this annual Oktoberfest, which will consist of plenty of food, beer, and bands. 5 p.m. Admission: free. 402-553-6774. 
gerdasgermanrestaurant.com

Jamborama: Omaha Swing Dance Festival
Sept. 7-9 at Eagles Ballroom, 201 S. 24th St. Take part in the 16th year of swing dance workshops, contests, and live music. 6 p.m. Registration: $15 Saturday late night pass-$200 full weekend pass. 402-208-3006. 
jitterbugs.org

47th Annual Art Fair
Sept. 8-9 at Rockbrook Village, 108th and Center Streets. More than 150 national, regional, and local artists will display and sell their one-of-a-kind works of art. Spend the day browsing quality art and meeting talented creators. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission: free. 402-390-0890.
rockbrookvillageartfair.com

All-European Show and Shine
Sept. 9 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Spend your afternoon strolling through the gardens, marveling at European cars and motorcycles on display. Models will include Porsche, Ferrari, Jaguar, and more. A narrated tram tour will also be available. Noon-3 p.m. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children (6-12), free for children under 6 and members; $3 tram rides. Includes entrance to the gardens. 402-346-4002.
lauritzengardens.org

Oktoberfest Celebration
Sept. 14-15 at 3717 S. 120th St. Take part in the classic Oktoberfest event with traditional German food and entertainment. 5 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon-midnight Saturday. Admission: $5 adults, free for children under 12 and active military members. 402-333-6615.
germanamericansociety.org

Third Annual Omaha Food Truck Rodeo
Sept. 14 outside Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Taste a variety of dishes from 15 food trucks, listen to a DJ, visit beer gardens and outdoor bars; seating throughout Benson. 4-11 p.m. Admission: free. 402-884-5707.
reverblounge.com

27th Annual Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow
Sept. 15 at Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha Campus, 5300 N. 30th St. This celebration of Native American culture honors the traditional dance, music, artistry, oral history, and foods of various tribes across Nebraska and the surrounding region. 1-7:30 p.m. Admission: free. 531-622-2253.
mccneb.edu

Fall Festival on the Farm
Sept. 15-16 at Gifford Farm Education Center, 700 Camp Gifford Road, Bellevue. Take part in animal visits, educational sessions, raffles, scavenger hunts, concessions, pony rides, and more at this fun seasonal event. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: $5 for ages 2 and older, $2.50 for military personnel with ID. Pony rides are $5 extra. 402-332-5771.
esu3.org

Omaha Marathon & Half Marathon
Sept. 16 starting at TD Ameritrade Park, 1200 Mike Fahey St. Register to run either 13.1 or 26.2 miles and attempt to beat your personal best. 7 a.m.-2 p.m. $15-95. 402-341-1500.
omahamarathon.com

Lauritzen Gardens Antiques Show
Sept. 20-23 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Attend one of the community’s most beloved traditions. Listen to lectures, attend luncheons, and walk through design and antique exhibits throughout the garden. Times vary. Tickets: $10-$150. 402-346-4002.
omahaantiqueshow.org

Huber Haus Oktoberfest
Sept. 21-22 at Huber Haus, 3578 Farnam St. Take part in the 17th annual Oktoberfest celebration, which includes live polka music, German food,and lots of beer. 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday; noon-2 a.m. Saturday. Admission: $5 ages 21 and up. 402-345-1708.
beercornerusa.com

Who are you? An Identity Workshop
Sept. 22 at Omaha Public Library, Florence Branch, 2920 Bondesson St. Omaha Little Girls Rock offers this free Saturday session for girls age 4-9. Little rockers will explore themes of identity through music-based programming. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (ages 4-6), 1:30-3:30 p.m. (ages 7-9). Admission: free. 402-321-2252.
omahagirlsrock.org

Open NOH8 Photo Shoot
Sept. 22 at Metropolitan Community Church, 819 S. 22nd St. Become a part of the NOH8 (No Hate) Campaign, a photography project dedicated to promoting human rights. Come in NOH8’s signature look—a clean white T-shirt—and be prepared to have a temporary tattoo applied to your skin. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Prices: $40 single photos; $25 per person in group or couples photos. 402-345-2563.
noh8campaign.org

Junkstock: Harvest Edition
Sept. 28-30 at Sycamore Farms, 1150 River Road Drive, Waterloo. Savor the festive fall adventure that is Junkstock, a seasonal event that brings antique and craft vendors, food, live music, and plenty of photo opportunities. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $10+. 402-765-8651.
junkstock.com

Omaha’s River City Rodeo
Sept. 28-29 at CHI Health Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St. After a two-year hiatus, the rodeo is back with seven events, including steer wrestling, team roping, and bull riding. World-champion cattle handlers will compete for entry into the National Finals Rodeo. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $17-$42. 402-341-1500.
chihealthcenteromaha.com

Turner Park Night Market
Sept. 28 at Turner Park in Midtown Crossing, 3110 Farnam St. Omaha Farmer’s Market teams up with Turner Park to feature local artisans, vendors, activities, food, and more. Local nonprofits will also engage in the festivities to showcase their service opportunities. 6-10 p.m. Admission: free. 402-557-6006. 
midtowncrossing.com

Nebraska Reptile Breeders Expo
Sept. 30 at Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine St. Explore the scaly and slimy by visiting 55 tables of vendors, all showcasing thousands of snakes, lizards, turtles, and amphibians. Purchase supplies or books, learn about conservation efforts, or even go home with a new pet. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: $5 adults, $3 children ages 6-12, free for children under 6. 402-778-6313.
nebherp.org

Omaha Baby Fair
Sept. 30 at Baxter Arena, 2425 S. 67th St. All parents, whether expecting or already on the job, are encouraged to take part in this event. The event includes over 50 vendors, free safety classes and activities, maternity photos, swag bags, and more.10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tickets: $8 advance, $12 at the door, free for children 12 and under. 402-320-2879.
omahababyfair.com

Marvel vs. DC Night
Oct. 5 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St. Enjoy a superhero theme for the Children’s Museum’s First Friday Family Date Night. This month’s theme is epic, where attendees can meet characters, try themed activities and enjoy a late night of play at the museum. 5-8 p.m. Admission: $13 children and adults, $12 seniors, free for children 2 and younger and members. 402-342-6164.
ocm.org

Market to Market Relay
Oct. 6 beginning in Aksarben Village, 2285 S. 67th St. Participate in Nebraska’s Market to Market Relay, the largest day-long relay in the nation. With 19 exchange points spanning over 76 miles from Omaha to Lincoln, participants follow trails, paved streets, and gravel roads through a scenic slice of Nebraska. Limited to 600 teams. 3 a.m.-noon. Registration: $550-$1040 per team. Advanced registration available online. 402-937-8518.
markettomarketrelay.com

Sports Card Show
Oct. 7 at Hilton Garden Inn Omaha East, 2702 Mid America Dr., Council Bluffs. A hit for sports lovers and collectors from the Midwest, the Card Shop will host this show to allow fans to pick up some cards for their collections and mingle with other fans. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission: free. 402-807-5220.
thecardshopomaha.com

Monster Jam
Oct. 12-14 at Mid America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs. The ultimate monster trucks will compete against each other in this fan-favorite showcase of mechanical beasts. 7 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $15-$45. 712-323-0536.
caesars.com

Bubble Run
Oct. 13 at Werner Park, 12356 Ballpark Way, Papillion. Take part in a 5K run where participants get to run through foam and bubbles at each kilometer. Colorful foams, DJ jams, and free swag will be included in registration. 8 a.m.-noon. Registration: $50-65; children 4 and under run for free with paid adult registration. Advanced registration available online. 402-738-5100.
bubblerun.com

41st Annual Witches Tea
Oct. 13 at Mangelsen’s, 3457 S. 84th St. With Halloween crafts and games, bounce houses, treats, prizes, and a costume contest, attendees will be full of festive spirit at one of Omaha’s longest-running Halloween events. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission: free. 402-391-6225.
mangelsens.com

Holiday Meats Cooking Class
Oct. 18 at Fireplace Stone & Patio of Omaha, 13709 Industrial Road. Learn how to prepare meals for the upcoming holiday season. Participants will sample food and understand the cooking process or turkey, beef tenderloin, and prime rib. Refreshments and goodie bags will be provided. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Admission: $60-$75. 402-807-2684.
fireplacestonepatio.com

So You Wanna Use Your Voice? A Change-Making Workshop
Oct. 20 at Omaha Public Library South Branch, 2808 Q St. This Omaha Little Girls Rock Saturday session will use music to empower Omaha’s smallest superstars to speak up for what they believe. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (ages 4-6), 1 p.m-3 p.m. (ages 7-9). Admission: free 402-321-2252.
omahagirlsrock.org

Monster’s Ball
Oct. 20 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St. Dance the monster mash at this family-friendly ball. Meet characters, dance, and eat spooky, festive food. 6-9 p.m. Tickets: $10 per person for members, $25 per person for nonmembers. 402-342-6164.
ocm.org

Second Annual Midwest Coffee and Tea Festival
Oct. 21 at Mid America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs. Taste and buy samples of coffee and tea from local vendors, plus attend seminars. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tickets: $5 adults, free for children 12 and under. 402-302-1752.
midwestcoffeeandteaexpo.com

Healthy Trick-or-Treat Nights
Oct. 23 and 30 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St. Dress up in a Halloween costume and get ready to trick-or-treat indoors at the museum. Trick-or-treaters will get healthy treats and the chance to play in the museum. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Admission: $13 children and adults, $12 seniors, free for children under 2 and members. 402-342-6164.
ocm.org

Ghoulish Garden Adventure
Oct. 28 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Dress up in costume for this special event. Explore the visitor and education centers, visit the gardens, and trick-or-treat at different activity stations. Noon-4 p.m. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children (6-12), free for children under 6 and members. Includes regular garden admission. 402-346-4002.
lauritzengardens.org

Haunted Houses

Omaha’s haunted houses deliver an array of thrills from the maze-like Mystery Manor, to the Haunted Hollow Theme Park, which is located on a seven-acre farm. Camp Fear is one of the most immersive and horrifying attractions in Nebraska, where organizers encourage only the bravest souls to camp overnight. Enter if you dare…

 Camp Fear (Riverwest Park, 23301 West Maple Road, Elkhorn) Opens Sept. 14: Fridays and Saturdays; October, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Camp check-in begins at 4 p.m. and all attractions begin at dark.
campfearomaha.com

 Carnival of Terror (1209 Jackson St.) Opens Sept. 28: Dusk-10 p.m. weekdays, dusk-midnight weekends.
—”Carnival of Terror” on Facebook

 Haunted Hollow Theme Park (12501 Giles Road) Opens Sept. 28. 7-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 7 p.m.-12 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 
hauntedhollowomaha.com

 Mystery Manor (716 N. 18th St.) Opens Sept. 14. September times vary; October, dusk-10 p.m. weekdays, and dusk-midnight weekends. 
mysterymanoromaha.org

 Ranch of Terror (11001 S. 48th St.) Opens Sept. 28. 7:30-11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 7:30-10 p.m. Sundays.
bellevueberryfarm.com

 Scary Acres (17272 Giles Road) Opens Sept. 14: 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Sundays in September; 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays in October.

Pumpkin Patches and More

Fall isn’t complete without a visit to at least one of the area’s many pumpkin patches. Most locations offer attractions from hayrack rides and corn mazes to bonfires, spooky trails, delicious seasonal treats, and more. 

 Bellevue Berry and Pumpkin Ranch (11001 S. 48th St.) Opens Sept. 21. 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 
bellevueberryfarm.com

Harvest Moon Farm (1410 US-77, Oakland, Neb.) Opens Sept. 17. Noon-6 p.m. Fridays; Noon-8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
harvestmoonoakland.com

Skinny Bones Pumpkin Patch (3935 NE-133, Blair) Opens Sept. 9. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays.
skinnybonespumpkinpatch.com

 Wenninghoff’s Farm Pumpkin Patch (6707 Wenninghoff Road) Opens Oct. 1. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
wenninghoff.com

 Vala’s Pumpkin Patch (12102 S. 180th St.) Opens Sept. 14. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
valaspumpkinpatch.com

Top of page


Event times and details may change.
Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.

This calendar was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

2018 May/June Family & More

April 25, 2018 by

Farmers Markets
Gardening season is open in Omaha, and those desiring fresh produce will find plenty of options in the area, along with artisan cheeses, farm-raised meats, freshly baked breads, assorted treats, and craft items.

• Aksarben Village (67th and Center streets) 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays starting May 6

• Council Bluffs (Bayliss Park) 4:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday starting May 3.

• Gifford Park (33rd and California streets) 5-8 p.m. Fridays starting June 1.

• Florence Mill (9102 N. 30th St.) 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays starting June 3.

• Old Market (11th and Jackson streets) 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays starting May 5

• Papillion (84th and Lincoln Street) 5-8 p.m. Wednesdays starting May 30.

• Village Pointe (168th and Dodge streets) 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays starting May 5.

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder’s Weekend
May 4-6 at CenturyLink Center, 455 N. 10th St. Shareholders in the company created by Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffet can learn about the year’s earning at this annual meeting. Events include the “Invest in Yourself” 5k run, a bridge tournament, shopping, and more. Times vary. 402-341-1500.
centurylinkcenteromaha.com

Cinco de Mayo Parade
May 5, along 24 St. from D to L streets. This dazzling parade—one of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the Midwest—features floats, marching bands, and more. Other event festivities take place May 4-6, before and after the parade along L to P streets. Rain or shine. 10 a.m. Admission: free.
cincodemayoomaha.com

Beer, Brats & Begonias
May 5 at the Garden Gallery, 2721 N. 206th St, Elkhorn. This annual event features art, music, and beer. Event festivities include live music and over 30 artists, along with plants to gaze at: annuals, perennials, tropicals, and hanging baskets. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: free. 402-707-0056.
the-garden-gallery.blogspot.com

Lantern Fest
May 5 at Raceway Park of the Midlands, Jesup Ave., Pacific Junction. Before sundown, friends and families can enjoy food, live music, a stage show, familiar princesses, face painters, s’mores, balloon artists, and more. When the time is just right, visitors will get the chance to light the sky with their highest hopes and fondest dreams. 3-11 p.m. Admission: $7-$60. 1-800-994-2515.
omaha.eventful.com

Saturdays @ Stinson Concert Series
Starting May 5 at Stinson Park, 2285 S. 67th St. Food, drinks, face painting, and balloon artists will all be available during these live concerts, which feature talented bands in Omaha. 7-10 p.m. Admission: free. 402-496-1616.
aksarbenvillage.com

Renaissance Festival of Nebraska
May 5-6 and 12-13 at Bellevue Berry Farm, 11001 S. 48th St. Step back in time to the days of knights in shining armor with full contact sword play, equestrian jousting, six unique performance locations, 100+ costumed characters, and free make-and-take crafts. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission: $13 adults, $8 children. 402-331-5500.
renfestnebraska.com

Yoga Rocks the Park
Starting May 6 at Turner Park, 3110 Farnam St. This healing arts festival takes place on Sundays and combines yoga and live music as a way to heal your mind and body. 4 p.m. (3:30 registration). Admission: free; donations accepted.
midtowncrossing.com

Leashes at Lauritzen
May 7 and 14, June 4 and 11 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Bring your canine friends to explore the grounds and enjoy the outdoors. Heel for family photos, learn about local dog-related nonprofits, and enjoy treats/samples with your pup. 5-8 p.m. Admission: $10 adults and $5 for dogs; free for garden members. 402-346-4002.
lauritzengardens.org

Soundry Workshop: Instrument Building
May 10 at KANEKO, 1111 Jones St. Adult learners (18 and up) will investigate the art of sound installation, instrument building, and 21st compositional techniques. Participants will be able to create, play, and take home their very own instrument. 6-7 p.m. Admission: $20. 402-341-3800.
thekaneko.org

Sip Nebraska Wine Festival
May 11-12 at Mahoney State Park, 28500 W. Park Hwy. Celebrate spring and wine and this 5th annual wine event highlighting vintages from Nebraska wineries and craft breweries. Live music, unlimited wine, hard cider, craft beer, food, art, and more will be available. 4-10 p.m. (Friday), 1-10 p.m. (Saturday). Admission: $25-$120. 402-882-2448.
blurparties.com

Celebrate CB
May 11-12, 19 in Council Bluffs, various locations. Hop across the river for events like Celebrate at The River, a barbecue, a parade, and more festivities. Times vary. Admission: free. 712-396-2494.
celebratecb.com

Spring Night Hike at the Wetlands
May 12 at Wetlands Learning Center, 695 Camp Gifford Road. Join in on a night hike in the wetlands as we try to identify any animals we observe. Participants should bring a flashlight or headlamp and dress for the weather. 7-10 p.m. Admission: regular admission, free to members. 402-731-3140
fontenelleforest.org

Omaha Rollergirls Roller Derby
May 12 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St. It’s double the action with this double header on Star Wars/Family Night. Get a $1 beer while watching the show, during the first hour only. 6-8 p.m. Admission: $12 adults, $6 children (4-10), free for children 3 and under. 402-980-5579.
ralstonarena.com

Florence Days
May 12-13 in downtown Florence, 30th St. between State St. and I-680 N. Historic Florence retains its own small-town feeling with this annual event. Activities include a parade, art displays, a melodrama, talks about the historic Florence Mill, and more. 10 a.m. Admission: free.
historicflorence.org

High Tea and Talons
May 13 at Fontenelle Forest, 1111 Bellevue Blvd. Enjoy Mother’s Day surrounded by birds. At this event, guest will enjoy tea, small pastries, and sandwiches while learning about birds of prey. Fancy dress is encouraged. 1-3 p.m. Admission: $5 for members, $15 for non-members (includes daily admission). 402-731-3150
fontenelleforest.org

2018 national Golden Gloves Finals
May 14-19 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St. The finals come back to Omaha for the first time since 2006! Top Golden Gloves competitors will vie for the national title. 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Admission: $10. 402-934-9966.
ralstonarena.com

Kevin Hart
May 17 at CenturyLink Center, 455 N. 10th St. Comedian and actor Kevin Hart brings his stand-up comedy show to Omaha on his “Irresponsible Tour.” 7 p.m. Admission: $35-$125+. 800-745-3000.
centurylinkcenteromaha.com

Third Annual Food Truck Rodeo
May 18 outside Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. Here’s a chance to sample some of Omaha’s favorite food on wheels all in one location. 15 food trucks will unite with a DJ and multiple outdoor bars for this local favorite. 4-11 p.m. Admission: free. 402-884-5707.
reverblounge.com

Elkhorn Antique Flea Market
May 20 at Walworth County Fairgrounds, 411 East Court St. This Elkhorn event, held four times a year, hosts over 500 vendors each with their own unique treasures. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Rain or shine. Admission: $5. 414-525-0820.
nlpromotionsllc.com

Salute to Summer Festival
May 24-27 in downtown La Vista. Old-fashioned fun will be available at this annual event, which takes place on Memorial Day weekend. There will be a carnival in Central Park, a parade down Park View Boulevard, and more. Times vary. Admission: free. 402-331-4343.
cityoflavista.org/lavistadaze

Loessfest
May 25-28 at River’s Edge Park. Come to Council Bluffs for outdoor activities at this Memorial Day Weekend event. Events include a free community concert, carnival, parade, and much more. Times vary. Admission: free. 712-328-4650.
loessfest.com

Helicopter Day
May 26 at Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, 28210 W. Park Hwy. Visitors can watch helicopters fly away and land right in front of them. Inside the museum, workshops and family-friendly activities await the visitors. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission: $12 adults; $6 children. $65 if you want to take a ride in a helicopter. 402-944-3100.
sacmuseum.org

Vibes at Village Pointe
Starting May 31 at Village Pointe Shopping Center, 17305 Davenport St. Stop by the shopping center every Thursday for live music. Make sure to bring a blanket or chair. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Admission: free. 402-505-9773.
villagepointeshopping.com

Benson Beer Fest
June 2 in Benson, 60th and Maple. This beer-lovers’ festival hosts hundreds of breweries, local food vendors, raffles, giveaways, and music for one day. 3-7 p.m. Admission: $35 general, $40 day of event, $45 VIP.
bensonbeerfest2018.com

Elkhorn Days
June 1-3 throughout Elkhorn. This year’s festival is themed “Fun and Games” and features a casino night, hot air balloon rides, a movie night, parade, fireworks display, and other family fun. Times vary. Admission: free. 402-289-9560
elkhorndays.com

Taste of Omaha
June 1-3 at Omaha Riverfront and Heartland of America Park, 800 Douglas St. This annual food-filled festival features eats from nearly 50 restaurants. Accompanied by live music, entertainment, and activities at Heartland of America Park, Lewis & Clark Landing, and River’s Edge Park. Times vary. Admission: free. 402-346-8003.
showofficeonline.com

Omaha Oddities and Art Expo
June 2 at Comfort Inn and Suites, 7007 Grover St. This first annual expo and sale will offer a variety of oddities, curiosities, and art from over 30 vendors. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: $5 ($4 with can food donation), free for children 13 and under. 402-506-5852.
voodoosoddshop.com

Castlepalooza
June 2 at Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport St. This community festival will take place on the grounds of the historic Joslyn Castle. Enjoy a historic neighborhood tour on bicycle that concludes on the castle grounds, where live music, family activities, vendors, food trucks, and craft beer will be waiting. 4-10 p.m. Admission: free. 402-595-2199.
joslyncastle.com

Wine, Beer, Blues, and Balloon Festival
June 2 at Soaring Wings Vineyard, 17111 S. 138th St. The 14th annual blues event will feature musical guests Rex Granite Band, Sarah Benck, Connie Hawkins and the Blueswreckers, Keeshea Pratt Band, and Harlis Sweetwater Band. Bring a chair and blanket to take in the music and the hot air balloon show to follow. 4 p.m. Admission: $25 for those 21 and over (includes a glass of wine or beer), $15 for ages 12-20, free for kids under 12. 402-253-2479.
soaringwingswine.com

Moo at the Zoo
June 2-3 at Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St. Meet in the Desert Dome Plaza for an day filled with agriculture. Get up close to multiple breeds of dairy cows and try some country cooking. Dancing, airbrush tattoo, and carnival games will also be available. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: regular zoo admission, free to members. 402-733-8401.
omahazoo.com

Countryside Village Art Fair
June 2-3 at Countryside Village Shopping Center, 8722 Countryside Plaza. The annual fair showcases a mix of styles, perceptions, and media. The artwork selection inspires casual visitors to start art collections, and connoisseurs to add to existing collections. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission: free. 402-391-2200.
countryside-village.com

Annual Veterans Appreciation Rally
June 3 near North Omaha Airport, 12005 N. 72nd St. All to honor veterans, this event features classic cars, motorcycles, and airplanes. Activities include raffles and skydiving shows. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: free; $5 donation requested. 402-714-4269.
—@heroesoftheheartlandfoundation on Facebook

Monday Night Movies
Mondays June 4-July 30 at Turner Park, 3110 Farnam St. Laugh, cry, and relax with classic movies under the stars this summer. Children and pets are welcome to enjoy this free night out. Movies begin at dusk. Admission: free.
midtowncrossing.com

Santa Lucia Italian Festival
June 7-10 at Lewis and Clark Landing, 345 Riverfront Drive. Come experience the richness of Italian history and culture at the 94th annual event. Carnival rides, authentic Italian foods, music, and nightly entertainment will all be available. Times vary. Admission: free. 402-342-6632.
santaluciafestival.com

Summer Arts Festival
June 8-10 at Gene Leahy Mall, 1302 Farnam St. Over 135 artists from across the country will showcase and demonstrate their work here. Food and live entertainment also available. Times vary. Admission: free. 402-444-5900.
summerarts.org

Stars and Stripes Day
June 9 at Gifford Farms, 700 Camp Gifford Road. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a day at the farm. Be prepared to learn about planets, stars, and constellations, while also seeing a police cruiser, a motorcycle, a firetruck, and farm animals up close and personal. This event is a tribute to those who serve. 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Admission: $5 ages 2 and up. 402-597-4920.
esu3.org

Rose Day and Show
June 10 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Join the Omaha Rose Society to promote the culture and appreciation of the rose. See a variety of rose blooms and arrangements on display for judging, visit with rosarians, and explore the rose garden. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children (6-12), free for children under 6. 402-346-4002.
lauritzengardens.org

Tempo of Twilight
June 12, 19, 26 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. This outdoor concert series brings local entertainment to the garden, perfectly blending music and nature. Bring chairs, food, and the family for a night of fun. 6-8 p.m. Admission: regular garden admission, free for members. 402-346-4002.
lauritzengardens.org

Papillion Days
June 13-17 in Papillion. Treat Dad to a festival over Father’s Day weekend. This annual event includes a parade, fireworks, carnival, and much more. Times vary. Admission: $25 for carnival tickets. 402-331-3917.
papilliondays.org

College World Series Opening Day
June 15 at TD Ameritrade Park, 1200 Mike Fahey, St. Before the series starts, come to the park for a day full of events, including FanFest, team autograph sessions, practices, Olympic-style opening ceremonies, a concert, and a fireworks finale. Activities begin at 9:10 a.m. Admission: free. 402-554-4422.
cwsomaha.com

College World Series
June 16-26/27 at TD Ameritrade Park, 1200 Mike Fahey St. This annual baseball tournament offers fans the chance to be a part of a cherished tradition that includes tailgating and cheering on your favorite college baseball teams. 2 or 7 p.m. Admission: $35-$100. 402-554-4422.
cwsomaha.com

Community Paint Day
June 16 at The Union for Contemporary Art, 2423 N. 24th St. The Union’s Neighborhood Arts program and Creighton University Graphic Design II students led by professor and former Union Fellow Betni Kalk teamed up to complete a new mural design for the Omaha Small Business Network’s Business and Technology Center. All ages and no painting skills necessary to participate. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission: free. 402-933-3161
u-ca.org

Polish Fest
June 23 at Crescent Moon and Huber-Haus German Bier Hall. Try a variety of Polish beers at this festival, which celebrates food and drink from the land that gave us Pope John Paul II. Food includes Polish sausage, glombki, and perogies. Noon-11 p.m. Admission: 402-345-1708.
beercornerusa.com

Zydeco Festival
June 23 at Turner Park, 3110 Farnam St. Enjoy a day of Creole and Cajun-style food, as well as activities and music from artists from throughout the New Orleans region. 3-10 p.m. Admission: free.
midtowncrossing.com

Omaha Celebrates America, featuring Starship and Survivor
June 29 at Memorial Park, 6005 Underwood Ave. Omaha’s 28th annual pre-Fourth of July event will feature music from Starship and Survior, with the Confidentials as the opening act, followed by fireworks. 6 p.m. concert and 10 p.m. fireworks show. Admission: free. 402-444-5900.
omahacelebratesamerica.com

Heartland Pride Festival
June 29-30 at various locations. This festival is about the celebration, recognition, and integration of LGBTQ+ people and culture. Events include a parade in Council Bluffs, a youth pride festival, and a pride festival at Baxter Arena. Times vary. Admission: $52 VIP, $12 festival entrance, free for outdoor festival grounds.
heartlandpride.org


Event times and details may change. Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.

10 Cheap Things to do in Omaha This Summer

April 27, 2017 by

This is going to be no ordinary summer in Omaha, and the best part is, you won’t have to budget much to enjoy it with your family. There are inexpensive and free activities throughout the metro, from a pool with a pirate ship to a trail that leads to a waterfall. There are indoor and outdoor film series for families, as well as free festivals. Here are 10 ideas for cheap fun in Omaha.

1. Spraygrounds

For free water fun, head to one of the city parks with a sprayground: Benson Park, Fontenelle Park, Kountze Park, Orchard Park, Seymour Smith Park, Upland, Morton, Westwood Heights, and Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge Plaza. These spraygrounds are great because they’re also near playgrounds. You can find additional outdoor fountains and spraygrounds that cost no admission to play in at Omaha Children’s Museum, Joslyn Art Museum, Shadow Lake Towne Center, and the First National Bank Tower.

2. Festivals
Free summer festivals in Omaha have kid-friendly aspects to them, while introducing new things to see, hear, and taste. Dance at a music series like Jazz on the Green at Midtown Crossing and Stinson Park at Aksarben Village. The Omaha Summer Arts Festival has an entire area dedicated to children’s activities.  Shakespeare on the Green has a tent of costumes for children to try on. Taste of Omaha is free, but you’ll want to buy tickets for food and rides.

3. Hikes

For the price of park admission, an adventure awaits on a nearby trail. One kid favorite is an easy trail that leads to a waterfall at Platte River State Park just outside of Omaha. Head to Hummel Park to search for the staircase that always baffles its climbers—no one can settle on how many steps there are. For a gem hidden in the middle of the city, visit Heron Haven Nature Center just northeast of 120th and Maple streets.

4. Unique Pools

Swimming is fun no matter where you go, but some local pools offer some fun extras worth checking out. The popular city pool at Lake Zorinsky has waterslides and a fun splash. Cross over the Missouri River to Council Bluffs to visit the city pool, Pirates Cove Pool, where kids can play around a pirate ship and use two waterslides. Head indoors to the Salvation Army Kroc Center and check out the newly renovated pool and waterslide.

5.   Explore the Old Market

The Old Market has so many things for kids to see, hear, and taste. On Saturday mornings, stroll the bustling farmers market. Visit any day of the week and you’ll likely encounter musicians playing music and charming horse-drawn carriages. Kids love the Old Market Candy Shop and Hollywood Candy. Head to The Passageway for toy store Le Wonderment, and then go on a hunt for the Zodiac Garden hidden behind an art gallery there.

6.  Downtown Fun

There’s more fun just beyond the Old Market. Slide down the big slides at Gene Leahy Mall. At Heartland of America Park, you may catch a gondolier offering inexpensive rides around the lake. Cross the “The Bob” pedestrian bridge to take that iconic picture standing on the state line. The building at the base of the bridge is the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters, which has a visitor’s center with free kid-friendly activities.

7. Bowl or Skate for Free

There are two national programs for children to sign up for that get them free rentals at local venues. Kids Bowl Free allows kids to have two free games each day all summer long. Shoe rental may not be included. Kids Skate Free is a similar program. SkateDaze participates in this program that allows children 12 and younger to skate for free once a day all summer long. The skate rental fee isn’t included.

8. Family Movies Series

Ruth Sokolof Theater at Film Streams has a great series for families, and children’s tickets are only $2.50. They show a mix of classics and first runs. Large chain theaters often have film series during the summer featuring slightly older movies at a discounted price. Check your closest Marcus Theatre and AMC Theatre to see if they’re participating. Check the calendar of events for Midtown Crossing and Sumtur Amphitheater to see when they show free outdoor movies.

9. Fan Fest

Feel like you’re a part of the NCAA Men’s College World Series experience for free at Fan Fest right outside the stadium. You can get into the spirit by playing interactive games, taking a photo with the trophy, meeting players, and soaking up the atmosphere. Fan Fest is open through the run of the series. Go to Open Day Celebration to catch batting practices and autograph sessions, concluding with the opening ceremony and fireworks. That’s all free, too.

10. Fort Atkinson

On the first Saturday and Sunday of the month, May through October, head to Fort Atkinson to see interactive historic recreations depicting life 200 years ago. Children can complete a scavenger hunt, earning a little treat at the General Store for finishing it. Actors shoot off a cannon during the re-enactment, which is cool for some kids and too loud for others. A state park permit is needed to get into the park to see the re-enactments. 

This article was printed in the Summer 2017 edition of Family Guide.

 

Harvest Fun

August 16, 2013 by

Fun festivals don’t end when autumn rolls in—there is still plenty to do in Nebraska as the dog days of summer draw to a close and the school year begins.

Harvest festivals are a great way to celebrate the end of summer and the transition to a new season. It’s a time to enjoy the prosperous crop and an exposition for the year’s produce. Many communities statewide celebrate the harvest with their own autumn festivals.

Nebraska City’s 45th Annual Applejack Festival is one such festival. The whole family can enjoy a parade, a car show, and an arts and crafts fair from September 20-22. If activities are what you’re looking for, participate in the Fun Run/Walk, boogie at the AppleJam Carnival street dance, and stop by Kimmel Orchards or Arbor Day Farms to pick your own apples and feast on homemade apple pies and sweets.

And there’s more than just apples. You can pick your own produce at Roca Berry Farm in Roca, Neb., Martin’s Hillside Orchard in Ceresco, Neb., or Bloom Where You’re Planted Farm in Avoca, Neb. Kids will love scouring fields for pumpkins, picking raspberries, taking in the sights on hayrack rides, eating caramel apples, and exploring all kinds of farm-related activities.

After you’ve enjoyed the state’s fall harvest festivals and picked your bounty, head to one of Nebraska’s state parks for cool autumn events. Visit Mahoney State Park and gaze at the stars on August 16 and September 13, or listen to and tell great stories on September 14 at the 11th Annual Moonshell Storytelling Festival.

If adventure is what you’re looking for, head up to Ponca State Park September 21–22 for the 9th Annual Missouri River Outdoor Expo to learn about wildlife-related and outdoor recreation activities including wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, archery, shooting sports, camping, off-highway vehicle recreation, and boating recreation.

The season may change, but the fun doesn’t have to stop!

Go to VisitNebraska.com to find more festivals and events to make your autumn truly festive.

Beer Festivals

June 20, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

For those not yet indoctrinated into the world of craft beer, the term “beer fest” is likely one that evokes images of Munich during Oktoberfest or something else in the realm of drinking for the sake of consumption.

In every one of these articles, we’re searching for deeper meaning, however. For our discussion here, we’ll be exploring beer fests in the sense of discovery, education, shared interests, and time spent broadening what the world of craft beer can mean to you.

Beer fests of late—those with goals such as those I’ve just mentioned—are built around a four- or five-hour experience where fest-goers pay a nominal fee in exchange for a fantastic day spent with brewers, brewery owners, beer zealots, and others just like yourself who are out to learn.

Sure, it’s entirely possible to spend your time at a beer fest tasting four-ounce samples at a rate that would be staggering to most. But those little four-ounce samples—the overall number of which is usually determined by your own tolerance of the day’s fun—are geared to allow you to taste a broad spectrum of breweries, particular styles, and unusual offerings, all under the auspices of fest organizers eager and ready to help you understand the particular pour. They bring along history, anecdotal information, and an introduction to the people and the culture behind the world that has become craft beer.

So are there beer festivals that exist locally that offer such learning opportunities? Absolutely. And the better fests out there actually provide for cab rides home and other people-friendly elements geared to not only get and keep your interest in craft beer, but to ensure you’re fully enjoying yourself and able to return to the next fest!

Nearly every single weekend in the Omaha area you’ll find some sort of beer or craft beer-related event. I draw a distinction because beer in general can be anything—imports, macro brands, and macro brands made to look like American-made small-batch craft beer. Both are good but, in my opinion, you’ll find the true culture embedded in the little brewery owner doing his best to get you to notice.

Timing is everything, so if you’re up for an afternoon of smiles, check out Sunfest in late July, which is put on by the folks at The Crescent Moon, 36th and Farnam streets. Or check out the Great Nebraska Beer Fest in late August in Papillion. You might also check in with some of your local Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits guys, as they have numerous educational mini-fests running quite often. I think you get the point though…Get out there, sample a few brews, and learn a little!

And as always, drink responsibly and designate a driver.

2013 Summer Fun in Omaha!

May 1, 2013 by

Looking for some fun events happening around Omaha this summer? Here’s a list of the “big ones” coming your way, and there’s something for everyone!

MAY EVENTS


Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power
Through May 5 at The Durham Museum

Nature Connects
Through May 17 at Lauritzen Gardens

Dinosaurs Alive! The Lost Valley
Through October at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting
May 4-5 at CenturyLink Center Omaha

Cinco de Mayo
May 5 at Historic South 24th Street

Al Jarreau & Condoleeza Rice Gala Concert
May 10 at Holland Performing Arts Center

Carrie Underwood
May 12 at CenturyLink Center Omaha

The Addams Family
May 14-19 at Orpheum Theater

The Color Run
May 25 at CenturyLink Center Omaha

A Bug’s World
May 25 – September 8 at Omaha Children’s Museum

A T-Rex Named Sue
May 25 – September 8 at The Durham Museum

16th Annual Taste of Omaha
May 31 – June 2 at Heartland of America Park and Lewis & Clark Landing

The Wizard of Oz
May 31 – June 30 at Omaha Community Playhouse

JUNE EVENTS


Tempo of Twilight
June 5 & 19, July 10 & 24, August 7 & 21, September 4 at Lauritzen Gardens

Omaha Beer Fest
June 7-8 at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village

Summer Arts Festival
June 7-9 at 10th to 15th on Farnam St.

Sand in the City®
June 8-9 at CenturyLink Center Omaha

Renoir to Chagall: Paris and the Allure of Color
June 8 – September 1 at Joslyn Art Museum

2013 NCAA® College World Series Opening Day Celebration
June 14 at TD Ameritrade Park

2013 NCAA® College World Series
June 15-26 at TD Ameritrade Park

Shakespeare on the Green: Twelfth Night
June 20-23, July 3, 5, & 7 at Elmwood Park

Shakespeare on the Green: Titus Andronicus
June 27-30, July 2 & 6 at Elmwood Park

JULY EVENTS


Alice Cooper
July 3 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

The Avett Brothers
July 3 Harrah’s Stir Cove

Yoga Rocks the Park
Through July 14 at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing

Justin Bieber
July 6 at CenturyLink Center Omaha

U.S. Senior Open
July 8-14 at Omaha Country Club

Kenny G
July 11 at Ralston Arena

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
July 11 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Jazz on the Green
July 11 – August 15 at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing

Railroad Days
July 13-14 at Lauritzen Gardens

Martina McBride
July 19 at Ralston Arena

Sheryl Crow
July 21 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Daughtry & 3 Doors Down
July 31 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Native Omaha Days
July 31-August 5 at various locations

AUGUST EVENTS


Darius Rucker
August 2 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Riverfront Wine Festival
August 3 at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village

Queens of the Stone Age
August 4 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival
August 9-10 at 204th & Q streets

Peter Frampton’s Guitar Circus
August 17 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Omaha Fashion Week
August 19-24 at Capitol District

Cox Classic
August 19-25 at Champions Run

Chicago
August 30 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

The Mancusos

April 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

On a Monday afternoon in early March, Mike Mancuso steps out of the home office at CenturyLink Center Omaha and walks into the Great Hall of the arena. An exhibitor getting ready for the upcoming Triumph of Agriculture Expo sees Mike, one of the show’s managers, and immediately comes over to ask for help. Apparently, the space he has been given for his farm equipment display isn’t big enough. Could Mike come over and take a look? Mike puts an armful of papers and a can of pop on the floor, then disappears for a few minutes. When he returns, he picks up his papers and pop and continues to his original destination. Problem solved.

This is the life Mike and his two older brothers, Bob, Jr., and Joe, have willingly chosen. It is the life their father, Bob Mancuso, Sr., carved out for himself and the family he cherishes back in 1964, when his three sons were babies. The Mancuso family is the force behind Mid-America Expositions, Inc., producer of trade shows, expos, fairs, and festivals in the metro. For nearly 50 years, Mid-America has kept products rolling and people strolling through Omaha’s numerous indoor and outdoor venues with events like the Farm and Ag Expo, Omaha Home & Garden Expo, Taste of Omaha, and the Omaha Products Show for Business and Industry—events that have become long-standing traditions, drawing families from all over the Midwest.

Despite a diverse slate of productions, Mid-America adheres to a simple driving philosophy: “We bring business and people together,” states Bob, Jr. “The Ag Expo helps farm businesses, the Taste of Omaha helps restaurants…Our aim is to make businesses successful.”

From left: Bob, Jr., Bob, Sr., Mike, Dona, and Joe Mancuso.

From left: Bob, Jr., Bob, Sr., Mike, Dona, and Joe Mancuso.

It’s no coincidence that the ascent of Omaha on the national stage parallels the transformation of Bob, Sr., from an athlete and teacher to a business-savvy entrepreneur whose deep devotion, keen vision, and strong faith in the city he loves changed the way marketing is done around here.

“Our family is rooted in Omaha,” says Bob, Sr., proudly. “My father and mother were both born and raised here. The Mancusos seldom got out of Omaha to go to school.” Except for him.

A standout wrestler at Omaha Central, Bob, Sr., scored a full ride to Kansas State and majored in phys. ed. and biological science. His teaching and coaching career began in 1956 at the old Bellevue High School. Coach Mancuso’s impact was immediate and startling. He molded a group of teenagers from a small, Class B school into state wrestling champions his very first year—Bellevue’s first championship ever, in any sport. The wins kept piling up.

Bellevue also produced the love of his life. A pretty young waitress who worked in her parents’ café across the street from the high school caught Bob, Sr.’s eye early on. In 1958, Dona Marie Hansen and Robert Mancuso were united in marriage.

Meanwhile, the coach’s impressive record at Bellevue caught the attention of a lot of eyes in Lincoln. In 1961, Bob, Sr., became head wrestling coach at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where his squads did well but were dwarfed by the large shadow cast by the football program.

“I was making $4,000 a year. My family didn’t need much to live on. But I kept thinking about my future and wondering, ‘Am I going to sit on a stool the rest of my life?’”

The answer came from Bob, Sr.’s older brother, the late Charles Mancuso, who at the time ran Omaha’s Civic Auditorium, Rosenblatt Stadium, and the Orpheum Theater. “Charlie told me I should quit the coaching business. He wanted more activities at the Civic, and he wanted me to help him.”

 “We bring business and people together…Our aim is to make businesses successful.” – Bob Mancuso, Jr.

After talking it over with his wife, Bob, Sr., joined with former AkSarBen General Manager Jake Isaacson and talent agency head Don Romeo to form Mid-America Expositions. The Mancuso magic struck again. “Our first event was Queen For A Day, with host Jack Bailey,” Bob, Sr., remembers as if it were yesterday. “The show broadcast live from Omaha for a week. Women stood in line around the auditorium to get in.”

Over 50,000 women swarmed the Civic during that week in late September of 1964, not only to see one of early TV’s iconic shows with its classic “applause meter” that determined the winner, but to also visit the Food Festival and Housewives Fair that accompanied it. Omaha had never seen a production on this scale before. “[Changing careers] was a good move for me,” says the elder Mancuso, who will turn 80 in September. “The future was wide open for aggressive people in the events market.”

Today, Mid-America Expositions produces between 12 and 15 shows a year, many at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, and they are a family affair. Each son joined their father one by one after pursuing their own corporate careers. Mike came aboard in 1988, followed by Bob, Jr., in 2005, and Joe in 2007. The love and respect each son carries for their father is evident in everything they say and do. They get emotional when trying to put into words what his legacy means to them.

“Dad has been a great example to me,” says Joe. “I have pretty much modeled everything I’ve ever wanted to do off of him—the way he has handled his life and lived his life.”

All three sons are fine athletes like their father and have been instrumental in adding the Outland Trophy Award Dinner, the Health, Wellness, and Fitness Expo, and the Corporate Cycling Challenge to the roster of events.

Next on the agenda: the 16th Annual Taste of Omaha May 31-June 2 at the riverfront, followed by the Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival August 9-10.

As for the future, “We want to continue making our events stronger and greater,” says Mike. “We want to keep them good for the city of Omaha and the people of Omaha.”