With an increasingly diverse population and an equally rich history, the communities of Omaha have much to be proud of. North Omaha is no exception with a wide array of shops, restaurants, parks, murals and gardens bringing life to this historic community.
The pride and deep-rooted heritage of North Omaha reaches a fever pitch every odd-numbered year when thousands of Native Omahans return home for Native Omaha Days. Nothing short of a supercharged community-wide family reunion, Native Omaha Days, which runs from July 26 through August 2, sees relatives who have left for better opportunities, or simply a new start, reconnect with loved ones and friends. As you prepare for hot days at Carter Lake and long nights on The Deuce, take a look at this list and discover North O!
North O! Art & Events
Native Omaha Days, July 26 – Aug. 2, 2021
Every year ending in an odd number, a massive influx of native Omahans return to North Omaha to celebrate the community’s rich history and heritage. This year is slated to be the biggest yet. Native Omaha Days 2021 takes place July 26 through August 2 and will feature outdoor jazz concerts, golf tournaments, movie nights, gospel fests and a parade down North 30th Street. The biennial event was founded by two African American women, Bettie McDonald and Vera Johnson, for the Black population living predominantly in North Omaha. Its purpose was to reunite family and friends who moved away from their hometown. Since COVID-19 restrictions have loosened, many are expected to join the fun this year.
July 27 — Movie Night at Film Streams
July 28 through July 31 — Festival Square at the Bryant Center on 24th Street.
July 28 — UNO Black Studies 50th Anniversary at UNO (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
July 29 — Jazz at the Greens at Dodge Riverside Golf Course (Council Bluffs, Iowa)
July 30 — Native Omaha Days Golf Tournament at Dodge Riverside Golf Course (Council Bluffs, Iowa)
July 30 — A Stroll Down Memory Lane
July 31 — 23rd Biennial Homecoming Parade Celebration! 30th and Lake to 30th and Sprague (8:30 a.m.)
(Event information reported by Paul B. Allen IV)
June in North Omaha marks one of the nation’s longest Juneteenth festivals, lasting an entire week. The festival, which celebrates the abolition of slavery, features a large parade, concerts and many other commemorative events. Read more local Reader coverage of this year’s Juneteenth here.
The Union for Contemporary Art
- 2423 N. 24th St.
- (402) 933-3161
The Union offers fellowships and gallery space to some of the most promising artists in North Omaha. Learn more here.
- 3014 N. 24th St.
- (402) 320-4769
- Hours: Mon. – Sat. by appointment
Founded by local hip-hop artist and organizer Marcey Yates, the Culxr House is one of Omaha’s premier community centers and a home for artists of many disciplines. Keep up with everything happening at the Culxr House on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.
African Cultural Festival
- Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021
- 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
- Stinson Park (2285 S. 67th St.)
- Tickets: $10
Presented by Afromaha, the African Cultural Festival is an annual event that honors Omaha’s growing population of African refugees and immigrants. Omaha is home to one of the largest populations of South Sudanese immigrants in the country, and the festival has grown to be a celebration of multiple African countries and cultures.
Street Art and Murals
North Omaha is home to many beautiful murals and street art projects that have been commissioned by the city and local nonprofits. With projects like the Justice for James mural on 24th and Browne, this beautiful art illustrates the spirit of North Omaha.
North O! Historic Locations
Great Plains Black History Museum
- 2221 N. 24th St.
- (402) 932-7077
Looking for a trip down memory lane? Located just a few blocks south of Lake Street, the Great Plains Black History Museum is a library of North Omaha. The museum features rotating exhibits and a carefully curated archive. It is housed in the Jewell Building, which was home to the Dreamland Ballroom for more than 40 years, and featured performances by many touring jazz and blues legends, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton.
24th & Lake Jazz District
The historic jazz district of North Omaha located at the intersection of 24th and Lake streets was once a thriving hub of jazz clubs and small businesses. With the new cold-pressed juice and smoothie bar Ital Vital Living, plus Fair Deal Village MarketPlace, which offers a fresh grocery store and locally owned boutiques, the heart of North Omaha is set to beat again!
Malcolm X Memorial Foundation
- 3448 Evans St.
- (800) 645-9287
- Mon. – Fri.: By appointment only, Sat.: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun.: By appointment only
Located just five minutes northwest of 24th and Lake streets, the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation is a 17-acre park honoring the life and legacy of Malcolm X, who was born in Omaha in 1925. Complete with a historical marker and replica of Malcolm’s birth home, the Malcolm X birthplace has become a valued resource for the community of North Omaha.
24th & Emmet Black Panther Marker
Following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Omaha riots in 1968, a wave of activism swept through North Omaha. By 1970, Omaha was home to chapters of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and the National Committee to Combat Fascism, which was led by Ed Poindexter and David Rice. Learn more about North Omaha’s revolutionary past at this marker.
Omaha Technical High School / OPS Teacher Administrative Center (TAC Building)
Once dubbed the largest high school west of Chicago, Omaha Technical High School (Tech High) produced some of North Omaha’s most celebrated natives. Omahans such as Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Rodgers and successful actor John Beasley once graced the halls of this historic building, which is now home to Omaha Public Schools’ Teacher Administrative Center, located at 3215 Cuming St.
Historic Downtown Florence and Benson
The areas of Florence and Benson were once the epicenter of small townships equipped with their own banks and grocery stores. Now home to several thriving small businesses, these historic areas give a glimpse into North Omaha’s past.
North O! Tasty
Pettit’s Pastry – Bakery, 502 N. 16th St.
Big Mama’s Kitchen – Soul Food, 2112 N. 30th St., Accelerator Suite 201
Time Out Foods – Fried Chicken, 3518 N. 30th St.
Jackson’s Take-Out – Soul Food, 6209 Ames Ave.
JET Sports Bar – Bar & Grill, 7444 N. 30th St.
Dripped + Draped – Coffee, 6015 Maple St.
Cajun Kitchen – Soul Food, 2819 N. 30th St.
Mixins Rolled Ice Cream – Ice Cream, 1405 Jackson St.
Bills BBQ and Package Liquor Store – BBQ, 4414 N. 24th St.
Jim’s Rib Haven – BBQ, 3801 Ames Ave.
Ital Vital Living – Juice Shop, 2323 N. 24th St.
Emery’s Cafe – Soul Food, 2118 N. 24th St., Suite 101
Best Burger. – Fast Food, 2112 N. 30th St.
Lutfi’s Fried Fish – Fried Fish, 7440 N. 30th St. & 2527 N. 72nd St.
A Taste of New Orleans – Seafood, 6023 Maple St.
Smokin Doezha’s Wangs & Thangs LLC – Grill, 3030 Martin Ave.
Chaima’s African Cuisine – African, 5060 S. 107th St.
North O! Shops and Souvenirs
LeFlore’s New Look Fashions
- 1806 N. 24th St.
- (402) 933-7800
Head to LeFlore’s for men’s and boys’ dress clothes and accessories. Want to get a feel for what LeFlore’s has to offer? Check out the store’s Facebook page.
- 3226 Lake St.
- (402) 455-9200
Terence “Bud” Crawford Store
- 3701 N. 24th St.
Milk The Game Clothing
- 7117 Farnam St., Suite 21
- (402) 312-5618