March/April 2019 Explore!Feb 14, 2019 02:18PM ● By Megan Fabry
Twelfth Annual Polar Bear Tank Race March 1 & 2 at Middle Loup River near Mullen. This timed event features teams of four-to-six people racing down the river in metal stock tanks. Prizes are awarded for tank decorations and themes. Teams may also choose to forgo the race and enjoy a relaxing float down the river. 308-546-2206.
Rodeo Grand Island March 1 & 2 at Heartland Events Center in Fonner Park, Grand Island. This Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association event features team roping, barrel racing, and Xtreme Bulls Tour (Saturday). 308-382-4515.
A Celtic Celebration March 5 at Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln. Master musicians Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy take the stage, joined by their virtuosic children. The evening highlights fiery fiddling, step dancing, singing, and world-class music. 402-472-4700.
The Jersey Tenors March 5 at the Neville Center in North Platte. In an opera-rock mash-up sensation that blends opera classics, rock epics, and crooning ballads, The Jersey Tenors combine for a powerhouse vocal performance. 308-532-8559.
—@northplattecommunityplayhouse on Facebook
Delfeayo Marsalis March 14 at Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln. Audience members can celebrate a late Mardi Gras with New Orleans-style jazz performed by legendary trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and baritone saxophonist Roger Lewis, founder of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. 402-472-4700.
Aircraft Adventure March 16 at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland. Visitors can learn about the B-17 Flying Fortress and the A-26 Invader during this special event. 402-944-3100.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration March 16 in downtown O’Neill. The home of “The World's Largest Shamrock” nearly doubles its size to 7,000 people during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Festivities begin Wednesday with the Irish Walk of Fame and the painting of the town's beloved shamrock. The big day is Saturday, with a fun run, Green Eggs and Ham breakfast, free concert, Irish dancers, a parade, kids activities, and donkey basketball. 402-336-2355.
Shamrock Shuffle 5k Walk/Run/Crawl March 16 at Chuckles Bar in Fairbury. Runners and walkers are encouraged to dress up in leprechaun gear for this event. The post-race celebration includes unique awards, live music, giveaways, green booze, and food. 402-729-3000.
Audubon’s Nebraska Crane Festival March 21-24 at multiple locations in Kearney. Thousands of Sandhill cranes migrate through Nebraska each year, and this festival highlights the cranes. The event includes educational speakers, meals, and, of course, a trip to see the cranes. 308-468-5282.
Michael Buble March 23 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln. The popular jazz and pop singer will help celebrate the arena’s fifth anniversary with performances of hits such as “Feelin’ Good,” “Haven’t Met You Yet,” and more. 402-904-4444.
Mystery at the Mansion March 23 at Arbor Lodge Mansion in Nebraska City. Solve clues, look for evidence, and break the old fashioned whodunnit case while mingling with new friends. 402-873-8717.
Brownville Concert Series: The Rastrelli Cello Quartet March 31 at Brownville Concert Hall in Brownville. This unique ensemble mixes works by Bach, Dave Brubeck, and more in their concert titled From Brahms to Beatles. 402-825-3331.
Star City BaconFest April 7 at Marriott Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln. The event for meat-lovers features bacon-inspired delights from Lincoln’s finest chefs and live entertainment.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet April 11 at Lied Performing Arts Center in Lincoln. With technical precision, power, and passion, Complexions transcends tradition with a groundbreaking mix of styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop. 402-472-4700.
Mahenwahdose April 13 at Red Cloud Opera House in Red Cloud. Mahenwahdose is a Muscogean word meaning "True Native American Theater.” The Native American performance company from Oklahoma features Native artists dedicated to performing accurate, educational, and traditional stories of indigenous America. 866-731-7304.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain April 14 at Lied Performing Arts Center in Lincoln. The world-renowned ukulele superstars come to the Lied with their toe-tapping music, hilarious banter, and sheer superlative entertainment. 402-472-4700.
Spring Fling April 20 at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland. Kids of all ages can participate in an egg hunt, make and take a craft, visit with the Easter Bunny, and learn about making kites. 402-944-3100.
Kearney Symphony Orchestra: Dances of Love April 23 at UNK Fine Arts Recital Hall in Kearney. This classical concert features Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances accompanied by the University of Nebraska-Kearney choir. 308-865-8441.
Arbor Day Celebration April 26-28 at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City. Visitors can celebrate this holiday where it all began—at Arbor Day Farm. All across this 260-acre campus, opportunities abound to play, learn, taste, and shop, all in celebration of trees. Concurrent to this event is the 148th Annual Arbor Day Celebration in Nebraska City, with a parade, kids activities, plant sales, and more. 402- 873-8717.
Earth Day April 27 at Union Plaza in Lincoln. This event includes live music, informational booths, family activities, food trucks, and a farmer’s market.
Rodney Carrington March 1 at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines. Carrington is a multitalented comedian, actor, and writer who has recorded eight major record label comedy albums selling over 3 million copies. 515-244-0507.
Brothers Osborne March 7 at the Orpheum in Sioux City. This twang-and-crunch duo blends equal parts country and rock into a fresh, identifiable sound. 855-333-8771.
Kinky Boots March 15 at the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City. This musical is scored by pop icon Cyndi Lauper and is about an unlikely friendship between a shoemaker and a drag queen. 855-333-8771.
Leprechaun Chase 10k March 9 at Principal Park in Des Moines. Skill (and a little luck) will be needed at this particular event. Runners will be decked out in green, or anything shamrock-related, during the race and the green beer after-party.
St. Patrick’s Day Festival March 15 and 16 in Emmetsburg. This sister city of Dublin, Ireland, celebrates the “wearing o’ the green” in a grand way. Events include a bean bag tournament, fun run, kids’ zone, free movie, live music, and a parade. Before the parade, eat a cup of Irish stew or a baked potato with toppings, or sample the entries from the chili cookoff. 712-852-4326.
Maple Syrup Festival March 23-24 at Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids. The Maple Syrup Festival, held at the end of the syruping season, features syrup-making demonstrations, a look inside the Maple Sugar House, a pancake breakfast with real maple syrup, and live music. 319-362-0664.
Randy Rainbow April 4 at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines. Fresh off the sold-out first leg of this national tour, internet sensation Randy Rainbow’s series of political spoofs and song parodies have garnered international acclaim and over hundreds of millions of views. 515-244-0507.
Tenderloins and So Much More Tour April 6 at Cooking with Alessandra in Des Moines. This tour explores foods that were made famous in Des Moines and restaurants that keep those traditions alive. 515-508-9474.
Take a Bite April 12-14 in Amana. This three-day food fest includes cooking demonstrations, hands-on instruction, samples, dinners, and special menu items at Amana Colonies. 319-622-7622. —amanacolonies.com
Red Green’s “This Could Be It!” Tour April 14 at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines. Fans of public television’s The Red Green Show will be able to see handyman projects, hear advice given to married guys and teenage boys, and get tips on getting old. 515-244-0507.
Kites Over Hoover Park April 20 near Hoover Park in West Branch. April is kite-flying month, and thousands of colorful kites will fly during this event, which includes a kite-performance team and family-friendly games, a candy drop, and crafts for kids. 319-643-5301.
Food and Farm Festival April 27-28 at Living History Farms in Urbandale. Local producers, brewers, makers, and artists will gather together on the front lawn of Living History Farms to celebrate everything that makes Iowa great. VIP events include Festival of Cheese, Beer ’n' Bread, and Cocktails and Comfort Food. 515-278-5286.
Fake Patty’s Day March 2 at Aggieville Historical District in Manhattan. Aggieville is the place to drink green beer and spread Irish cheer. The streets will be shut down so that revelers can more easily travel from bar to bar during this special event. 785-320-6709.—manhattancvb.org
Switchback March 9 & 10 at The Warham Opera House in Manhattan. The McCain Performance Series features Irish-Americana. band Switchback. Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack have written many Irish songs that ring as true as the ancient ballads of Finn McCool's time. 785-532-6428.—k-state.edu/mccain
Clown of Kings Comedy & The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra March 17 at C.L Hoover Opera House in Junction City. To celebrate this Opera House’s 150th anniversary, three short films starring Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd, will be shown, accompanied by The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. 785-238-3906.—.jcoperahouse.org
Easter Egg Hunt April 20 at Louisburg Cider Mill in Louisburg. Warm cider and donuts will be provided during this Easter egg hunt, and family photos with the Easter Bunny after the hunt will add to fond family holiday memories. 913-837-5202.—louisburgcidermill.com
Kegs ’N’ Eggs April 27 at Kansas City Renaissance Festival grounds in Bonner Springs. While sipping on craft beers and listening to live music at this adult-only event, guests can hunt for golden eggs and win prizes. 913-721-2110.—kegsneggskc.com
Kansas Storytelling Festival April 26-27 in downtown Downs. Tall tales, anecdotes, and historical re-enactments can all be found at this festival, which offers two evening concerts and many separate sessions of stories, workshops, and music. 785-454-6648.—kansasstorytelling.com
Eric Church March 1 and 2 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. The country star will be performing songs from his new album Desperate Man as well as other popular past hits. 816-949-7100.
Bud Light Grand Parade and party March 2 in the Soulard District, St. Louis. One of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of the Big Easy is held in St. Louis. The festivities started in late January and culminate with this parade and party, bringing tens of thousands of people into the city. 800-916-8938.
10th Annual Mardi Gras Bar Crawl March 2 in the Power & Light District, Kansas City. Mardi Gras fans can eat, drink, and be merry in this annual tribute to pre-Lent traditions. The crawl includes 12 participating bars with live music, crawfish-eating contests, fire jugglers, and street performers. 816-842-1045.
Backtrack Vocals March 2 at the Missouri Theatre in St. Joseph. Backtrack is an award-winning, five-person a cappella group based out of New York City. The group creates impressive covers of past and present pop music. 816-279-1225.
Metallica March 6 at Sprint Center in Kansas City. One of metal’s biggest acts comes to Kansas City on their world tour. 816-949-7100.
Snake Saturday March 16 in North Kansas City. This popular St. Patrick’s Day event in Kansas City includes a parade followed by a carnival, children’s events, and more. 816-548-3113.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 17 along Broadway in Kansas City. Those who do not get enough shamrocks and shenanigans in North Kansas City can spend the next day reveling with fellow St. Patrick’s Day fans with one of the country’s largest St. Patrick Day parades.
NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional March 29-31 at Sprint Center in Kansas City. Kansas City is again hosting teams in the Midwest Regional of March Madness' Elite Eight. Regional winners will advance to Minneapolis for the Final Four and championship games. 816-949-7100.
Kansas City FilmFest April 10-14 at Cinemark on the Plaza in Kansas City. More than 120 films will be shown over five days at this annual event, which celebrates the power of storytelling as a shared cultural experience through the cinematic arts. 816-756-5877.
Joshua Redman Quartet April 11 at Folly Theater in Kansas City. Coming in from New York City after a series of concerts at the famed Blue Note club, the son of legendary saxophonist Dewey Redman brings his own jazz style to the Midwest. 816-474-4444.
Pig and Swig April 21 in the Power & Light District, Kansas City. A showcase of some of the best local and regional barbecue flavors, bourbon, whiskey, and craft beer. 816-842-1045.
Arturo Sandoval April 27 at Folly Theater in Kansas City. This 10-time Grammy Award winner’s most recent album includes duets with Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder, and Josh Groban. 816-474-4444.
Blessing of the Bikes April 28 on the historic downtown square in Neosho. The annual event brings together more than 300 bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts to initiate the onset of the riding season. Food, vendors, drift trike racing, and live music carry the day that is concluded with a bike blessing. 417-389-3301.
—@blessingofthebikescovenant0702 on Facebook
Event times and details may change. Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.