This summer in Omaha is going to be full of events for everyone. Major traditions like the Summer Arts Festival, the College World Series and Shakespeare on the Green will join, art exhibits, food tasting, county fairs, celebrations of national heritage as events for the whole family and for people looking for cultural events.
This is the 40th year for the Summer Arts Festival, an Omaha tradition. The festival will be held between June 6th and the 8th. Peggy Reall, the events Marketing Manager, points out that the Summer Arts Festival is a great event for families. “There are so many different things to try, it’s free, there is great food and art and fun activities.” The event this year will feature 135 visual artists, a stage of musical performance and a children’s fair. In addition to those events the festival will feature Art Collectors in Training, an artists market, and a young artist exhibition. The festival is free, for a full list of events and more information visit their website at summerarts.org.
On June 14th the College World Series kicks off and will end on the 25th. The major Omaha tradition already has reserved seat and general admission tickets on sale. Besides games the NCAA hosts an annual Fan Fest located in Lot C and on Mike Fahey and 12th Streets. The Fan Fest will host a speed pitching contest and the annual Home Run Derby. On June 13th is Opening Celebration day and will include free activities. This will include player autograph sessions, team batting practice and the in-stadium opening ceremonies, including the fireworks show. And on Sunday the 22nd the Road to Omaha 5k Run/Walk. Funds raised will benefit the Omaha Parks Foundation. For further information visit cwsomaha.com, for a list of College World Series events visit ncaa.com/cws.
People looking to experience a variety of food and culture should check out Taste of Omaha, the 17th annual event will begin on May 30th and continue to June 1st. Food is of course the main focus of Taste of Omaha and will feature a variety of food from top Omaha restaurants and that cover a degree of foods from various cultures. It is free and open to the public and free concerts will take place all weekend long. For further information concerning Taste of Omaha visit showofficeonline.com.
Every year county fairs are highly attended events for families all over Nebraska. The Ak-Sar-Ben River city rodeo and stock show will host three core events including two championship rodeos, Justin Boots championship Wrangler challenge finale. The rodeo also features the nations largest 4-H stock show and the Douglas County fair. “This celebration of our community’s western heritage is vital to the city of Omaha,” Kara Weiler the brand manager for the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation said. “It is a great family-fun event.” It will begin in September. Smaller events will feature exhibits on photography, and fine arts. There will be textile crafts, and model building and scout projects. There will also be a BBQ contest hosted by the ARCRA Nebraska State Championship on September 26th and the 27th. The fair will feature youth competitive events like Chess Tournament, the Ak-Sar-Ben Speech Competition and agriculture art contest. There will also be educational Displays and exhibits, various vendors, a parade, trail rides and the Open Feeder Calf Sale and show. For further information visit rivercityrodeo.com. All events with the exception of the rodeos and concerts are free.
In addition to the Douglas Country Fair, Sarpy County will host it’s own fair beginning on July 30th and continuing through August 3rd. It will be the 78th annual Sarpy County Fair. For more information visit sarpyfair.org. The Washington Country Fair will begin on July 25th and continue until the 30th. It will feature a rodeo, the Figure 8 Race and Tuff Trucks events, an antique tractor and pickup pull, tractor pull and demo derby. Visit the wcffair.com for further information.
This summer will also feature a number of outdoor activities. Yoga Rock the Park will take place every Sunday in May until July 6th at 4 pm the Yoga Rock the Park event at Midtown Crossing is free and open to the public. Hundreds each week, from beginners to experts come. There are messages, integrative therapy exhibitions, vendor booths, organic food and drink vendors, and live music. There are national and local yoga teacher lead classes for adults and children. The classes are all levels and live music. 10% of net profits from ticket sales are donated to national and local causes, 5% is donated to the Give Back Yoga Foundation. For further information visit yogarocksthepark.com/omaha.html.
There will be another Yoga experience, the Evento de Yoga/Yoga Event will take place at 3220 Farnam Street. This festival is a full-blown wellness festival with a suggested donation of $10. Proceeds from the event will benefit OneWorld Community Health Center. The Yoga event will take place on June 17th at 4:00 pm. For information call 402-734-4110.
NAMI Walks is a charitable walk that takes place on June 14. It is the 12th annual event and will take place at Elmwood Park. The walk is the largest and most successful mental health awareness and fundraising event in America. The money raised will go towards supporting both local and national programs that help mental illness advocacy, research, and education . For more information visit namiwalks.org or call 402-708-4980. On July 5th the Indie Omaha 5k and 10k run will occur in the historic Benson business district. The run will cross two parks and residential areas. All proceeds after expenses will go to Benson and Fontenelle Parks. Visit theindieomaha.org for more information.
If your looking for family events the Omaha Heritage Festival begins on May 17th and will honor the cultures and countries that contribute to Omaha. The all day event will begin at 10 am and end at 10 pm at Lewis and Clark Landing. There will be a parade that represents 30 different nations, international food, art made by artists from different ethnic groups around Omaha. For children there will be face painting, fire works, and pony rides. There will also be several bands performing at the event. For more information visit, omahaheritagefestival.com.
Railroad Days will take place on July 12th and the 13th at five locations around Omaha families pay just $15 and will be given transportation from Lauritzen Gardens, the Durham Western Heritage Museum, Rail West Railroad Museum, Union Pacific Railroad museum, and the Historic General Dodge House. Patty O’Bryan Durham Director of Marketing points out that there is something different every year and that it is a great opportunity for families to see what Omaha and Council Bluffs has to offer.
The World Refugee Festival begins on June 19th at Benson High School. The free event is presented by the Omaha Refugee Task Force. There will be a children’s carnival, fashion show, dance, educational panels, parade of flags, refugee performance, awards ceremony, health fair, lunch and more. For more information call 402-557-2431.
The Strategic Air and Space Museum is featuring the exhibit, Searching for Humanity: Veterans, Victims, and Survivors of World War II. Running from December 18 2013 to June 30th.Artist Matthew Placzek creates a deeply personal environment with photos, memorabilia and testimony of Nebraska Holocaust Survivors and soldiers. For more information visit sasmuseum.com.
As always there are a number of art events taking place this summer. Shakespeare on the Green begins on May 23rd with the Midsummer Nights Boat’s Ride. The Omaha tradition continues this year with performances of “The Tempest” and “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged),” along with ShakesBEER on the River, a beer and food tasting. There will also be a boat parade and Camp Shakes, an event that helps kids get over their fear of Shakespeare with fun activities. For more information visit nebraskashakespeare.com.
The Omaha Under the Radar Festival in July will run from July 11th through the 13th. According to their Facebook page the event is, “a forum for contemporary performance and cross-cultural pollination.” They frequently perform contemporary classical music, experimental music, modern dance, avant-garde theatre, and improvisation in multiple genres. They bring together local and non-local artists. Day passes are available for $15 and weekend passes are available for $30, they allow audiences to navigate between the various venues. A complete schedule will be announced on May 15th.
Voices from the Closet is a series of 8 monologues about the struggles people face by staying in the closet. The monologues span across the globe and centuries. They tackle things like cyber bullying, the Russian criminal code banning homosexual behavior and the female escort world. Tickets are on sale now, they are $10 and reservations must be made online, which is snapproductions.com.
TypecastRecast is the annual public art exhibit was conceived and crafted by the anti-defamation league in the hopes that it can inspire people to live in a respectful world. Artist proposals were accepted in the winter of 2012 and the winning pieces were installed in 2013. The installations appear in North Downtown Omaha along North 12th street between Mike Fahey street and Douglas Street. There are guided tours and community conversations For more information visit typecastrecast.org.