Skip to main content

Omaha Magazine

July/August 2019 Explore Calendar

Jun 13, 2019 03:17PM ● By Kate Smith

For NebraskaIowaKansas, and Missouri

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


Uncle Sam Jam! July 3 at Oak Lake Park, Lincoln. This is Lincoln’s official celebration of Independence Day, featuring food, music, fireworks, and more. 402.441.7547. —

Red, White, KaBoom! July 3 at Ag Park in Columbus. Independence Day is widely celebrated in Columbus, with live music, activities, a bouncy house, and more. Fireworks starting at dusk. 402.564.2769. —

49th Annual Flea Market July 4-5 at City Park in Fairbury. This annual event features more than 215 vendors selling everything from dishes to clothes. A Fourth of July Celebration will take place the first day. 402.768.3222. —

1898 Independence Day Celebration July 4 at Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island. This summer tradition includes a parade, a concert, pie-eating contests, and games. 308.385.5316. —

Oregon Trail Days July 11-14 throughout Scottsbluff. This is one of the oldest community festivals in Nebraska. The celebration includes a kickoff barbecue, a bicycle ride to the top of Scotts Bluff National Monument, a chili cook-off, and horseshoe tournament. 308.632.2133. —

John C. Fremont Days July 12-14 throughout Fremont. Held every second week of July, this event celebrates explorer John C. Fremont with free activities, historical tours, car and bike shows, vendors, antiques, and live entertainment. 402.727.9428. –

Germanfest July 13 throughout Syracuse. This festival celebrates German culture with a grand parade, ribfest, tractor pulls, and live music entertainment. 402.269.3242. –

Alliance Heritage Days July 16-21 throughout Alliance. Celebrating 4o years of Alliance heritage and history, this five day event brings carnival rides, various vendors, live musical entertainment, a parade, and games. 308.762.5400.

Zoofest July 19-20 at the Zoo Bar in Lincoln. This festival will feature all-day performances from national and local musicians along with food, drinks, and merchandise for sale. 402.435.8754. —

Cornhusker State Games July 19-28, varying locations in Lincoln, Omaha, and surrounding communities. This amateur sporting event offers participants the opportunity to compete in Olympic contests like gymnastics, track and field, and swimming as well as events like horseshoe pitching and chess. 402.471.2544. —

Apollo 11 Moon Landing 50th Anniversary July 20 at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland. Retired astronaut Clayton Anderson will present information about the future of space flight. The celebration includes hands-on activities, a free planetarium show, and the Apollo 11 launch video. Also happening that day is a Makers Market. 402.944.3100. –

Cardi B July 26 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln. This hip hop artist and winner of BET, Billboard, and iHeartRadio Music awards comes to Lincoln with guest performers Saweetie and Kevin Gates. 402.904.4444. —

Nebraska Star Party July 28-Aug. 2 at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area near Valentine. This week-long event dedicated to nature and the stars will entertain children and adults alike. Guests can learn how to explore the night sky and take educational tours of the surrounding area. 402.333.5460. —

Nebraska Rod & Custom Car Show Aug. 4 at Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island. Dozens of street rods, hot rods, customized vehicles, and historical American automobiles will be on display at the museum’s 1890s Railroad Town. 308.385.5316. —

Kool-Aid Days Aug. 9-11 throughout Hastings. Celebrate America’s beloved powdered drink mix, which was created in Hastings, with this weekend festival. Events include Kwickest Kool-Aid Drinking Contest, Jammers Boat Races, and a fun run/walk. 402.461.8405. —

Columbus Days Aug. 15-18 throughout Columbus. Attendees can spend the weekend listening to live music, participating in a cornhole contest and bed races, watching a parade, and more. 402.564.2769.

150th Nebraska State Fair Aug. 20-Sept. 2 at the state fairgrounds in Grand Island. Fairgoers can participate in traditional activities like watching livestock exhibits, riding on midway rides, and eating lots of fried food. Concerts include Theory of a Deadman, Trace Adkins, Cody Jinks, and more. 308.382.1620. —


Independence Day July 4 at Living History Farms in Urbandale. History fans can celebrate America’s birthday with a day of pie-eating contests, foot races, a town parade, and more. The celebration will also include the Walnut Hill Bluestockings playing baseball according to 1875 rules. 515.278.5286. —

Iowa City Jazz Festival July 5-7 in downtown Iowa City. This three-day event brings a weekend of live jazz performances and food. Fireworks will ignite over the University of Iowa Pentacrest on Friday night. 319.337.7944. —

Saturday In The Park July 6 at Grandview Park in Sioux City. On July Fourth weekend, Sioux City hosts a free music festival. 712.277.2575. —

The Truckers Jamboree July 11-13 at I-80 Truckstop at Walcott. This 40th anniversary event includes a super truck beauty contest, an Iowa pork chop cookout, Trucker Olympics, exhibits, and musical entertainment. The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum will also be open. 563.284.6961. —

AnimeIowa 2019: Post-a-pig-alyptic  July 12-14 at Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The biggest anime convention in Iowa is back for another year of cosplay, guest appearances, panels and more. 515.564.8000 —

80/35 Music Festival 2018 July 12-13 at Western Gateway Park in Des Moines. This annual music festival will entertain with over 50 musical performances, including Portugal the Man and Elle King as headliners. —

North Liberty Blues & BBQ July 13 at Centennial Park in North Liberty. This festival is all about smoked meat and smoking-hot music. Along with the ‘que and the blues, the event includes children’s activities and a beer garden. —

Christmas in July July 13 in downtown Oskaloosa. This event will cool people off, inviting them to celebrate Christmas in the summer with games, activities, live music, and more. Funds raised will benefit Painting of Lights lighting display. 641.672.2591. —

Ioway Culture Day July 13 at Living History Farms in Urbandale. Attendees can spend the day exploring the Ioway culture—the namesake of the state of Iowa. Events include a tractor-cart ride to a 1700-style Ioway farm where people can learn how the Ioway constructed their homes, farmed, and prepared food. In addition, speakers will impart their personal knowledge of Ioway tradition and technology. 515.278.5286. —

Tour de Brew July 13 at Millstream Brewery in Amana. Millstream Brewery brings a unique twist to this event that allows visitors to bike to different breweries for beer tastings. Food will be available at the end of the tour. 319.622.3672. —

Marshalltown Art Festival  July 20 in downtown Marshalltown. Over 50 artists will display their art at this summer festival. Activities include face painting, food vendors, and live entertainment. 641.752.2787. —

RAGBRAI July 20-28 in multiple cities across Iowa. Thousands of bicyclists will converge upon Iowa for one week. This year’s event travels the state from Council Bluffs in western Iowa to Keokuk in eastern Iowa. Cyclists are invited to come for the ride and stay for the homemade pie found in each town along the route.

NordicFest July 25-27 in downtown Decorah. This town promotes its Scandinavian heritage by welcoming visitors from around the world for a festival full of traditional crafts, food, colorful parades, musical performances, and a Saturday night fireworks show. 800.382.3378. —

Italian American Heritage Festival of Iowa July 26-27 at Western Gateway Park in Des Moines. Attendees can participate in grape stomping, a street chalk art competition, and bocce or cannoli-eating contests; listen to a variety of bands; watch cooking demonstrations; and eat lots of Italian food. 515.770.9839. —

National Balloon Classic July 26-Aug. 3 at the National Balloon Classic Memorial Balloon Field in Indianola. This event promises a spectacular visual experience, with nearly 100 hot-air balloons adorning the sky, live music, glowing lights, and fireworks at night, along with other family-friendly attractions. 515.961.8415. —

Hinterland Music Festival Aug. 2-4 at Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater in St. Charles. Guests will be entertained with music by artists from around the country (and the world) with styles rooted in rock, country, and more. Performers include Hozier, Kacey Musgraves, and Brandi Carlile. 515.333.4628. —

105th Annual Meskwaki Powwow Aug. 8-11 in Tama. This four-day powwow by the Meskwaki tribe is the only one of its kind in Iowa and features dancing, singing, handcrafts, food, games and fun. —

Iowa State Fair Aug. 8-18 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. One of the country's largest state fairs includes a cow sculpted from butter, the Bill Riley Talent Search finals, and any food that can be stuck on a stick or fried. Featured entertainers include The Chainsmokers, Pentatonix, Hootie and the Blowfish, and comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias. 515.262.3111. —

Tugfest Aug. 8-10 in LeClaire. Tugfest began in 1987, with ten 20-member tug teams pulling with all of their strength on a 2,700 foot, 680 pound rope that spans the Mississippi River between LeClaire, Iowa and Port Byron, Illinois. Each year the teams pull to see who will claim the breath-taking alabaster statue of a Bald Eagle in flight. —

Boomfest Aug. 24 in Vinton. Pyromaniacs will appreciate the Boomtown fireworks spectacular, which ends the Iowa Pyrotechnic Association's annual meeting. While the fireworks fiends are gathering, festival attendees can partake in the arts and crafts festival, which includes artisans and crafters, a farmers market and food vendors, and activities for the kids. 319.472.3955. —

Fryfest Aug. 30 at the Iowa River Landing in Iowa City. Hawkeye fans will enjoy this annual celebration of historic football coach Hayden Fry, which includes tailgating, live music, and autograph sessions from current and former football players. 319.337.6592. —


2019 Sundown Salute July 3-7 at Historic Heritage Park in Junction City. This five day event celebrates independence with vendors, food, a carnival, a car show, and live musical entertainment. 620.225.3277. —

Toronto Days July 5-7 at the Toronto Reservoir, Cross Timbers State Park and Toronto Wildlife Area. Celebrating 150 years of Toronto, this three day event brings attendees vendors, booths, games, musical entertainment, and a parade. The event will close with a fireworks show at the state park. 620.637.2985. —

Junque 'N’ Donuts Flea Market July 13 at Louisburg Cider Mill in Louisburg. Vendors will set up shop to showcase their treasures. Event goers can peruse around or stop into the Mill for cider donuts. 913.837.5202. —

Amelia Earhart Festival July 19-20 in Atchison. In this annual celebration of the city’s own heroine, Atchison’s community will entertain attendees with a carnival, an outdoor concert, food, aerobatic displays, historical presentations, and a finale of fireworks. 800.234.1854. —

Dodge City Days July 25-Aug. 4 in Dodge City. This two-week celebration marks the 59th year of a festival that includes multiple barbecue contests, a ninja warrior obstacle challenge, performances by the Dodge City Cowboy band, a car show, and an "arts, crafts, and things" show. 620.227.3119. —

Rock & Food Trucks July 27 in downtown Topeka. Several local rock ’n’ roll bands will perform at this festival, with concessions available from food trucks. 800-235-1030. —

Anderson County Fair July 29-Aug. 3 in Garnett. This free, annual event includes carnival rides, tractor pulls, a demolition derby, and free musical entertainment featuring the Dirty Bourbon Band. 785.448.6767. —

Roots Festival Aug. 23-24 in Paola. This 30th-anniversary festival features a wide variety of live music, ethnic dancers, arts & crafts, food vendors, the East Central State Barbecue Championship Cook-off, games and carnival rides. 913.294.6427. —


Fourth of July Extravaganza July 4 at Howard Hils Athletic Complex in Moberly. This July Fourth celebration includes games, inflatables, food trucks, and live entertainment. Fireworks will begin at dark. 660.269.8705 x 2040. —

Kansas City Riverfest 2019 July 4 at the Berkley Riverfront in Kansas City. This family-friendly event will include food vendors, a cornhole tournament, live shows from the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America’s Jazz Ensemble, and one of the largest fireworks shows in the Midwest.

2019 Kansas City Air Show July 6-7 at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. This two-day event features aerobatic performances, demonstrations, and an appearance by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. —

First Saturday Event July 6 and Aug. 3 at Shoal Creek Living History Museum in Kansas City. This free event will introduce guests to the Missouri of the 19th century through historical demonstrations and activities. Re-enactors dressed as outlaws, mountain men, and other characters will participate in skits and gunfights. 816.792.2655. —

An Evening with Jane Fonda July 9 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. Academy award-winning actress, author, and activist Jane Fonda will talk about her life and career, followed by a Q&A session with audience members. 816.994.7222. —

Santana with Doobie Brothers July 11 at Sprint Center in Kansas City. Fifty years after their breakthrough performance of  "Evil Ways" at Woodstock, Santana performs in Kansas City with the Grammy award-winning Doobie Brothers, known for their song “What a Fool Believes.” 816.949.7100. —

Silver Screens on the Sand: Incredibles 2 July 12 at Longview Lake Beach in Blue Springs, Mo. This lakeside event features a movie on an inflatable screen and concessions. 660.269.8705 x2040. —

Food Truck Brunch July 14 in Kansas City. This outdoor event brings Kansas City vendors and artists together for a day of food, coffee, and shopping. 816.931.4000. —

KC Fringe Festival July 14-28 in Kansas City. This is a 14-day festival of unjuried, uncensored performing and visual arts from local, national, and international artists. 816.359.9195. —

Shawn Mendez July 19 at Sprint Center in Kansas City. This Grammy-award nominated singer is known for his hit songs, "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back,” and "Treat You Better.” 816.949.7100. —

Aquapalooza July 20 at Lake of the Ozarks. This summer event held at Osage Beach brings boating events, live musical entertainment, activities, and prizes. 573.348.9797.

Rublecon 2019 July 20 at the Relics Event Center in Springfield. Local artists will come together for a day of cosplay, costume contests, cash prizes, toys, comics, and more. 417.882.0070. —

Khalid July 21 at Sprint Center in Kansas City.  This Grammy award-nominated singer is known for his hits “Talk,” and “Location." 816.949.7100. —

Mary J. Blige with Nas Aug. 6 at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City. Mary J. Blige is a Grammy award-winning singer known for her songs “No More Drama” and “Be Without You.” Nas is known for his songs “Daughters” and “Too Many Rappers.” 816.363.7827. —

Heart of America Hot Dog Festival Aug. 10 at Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Baseball and the all-American hot dog are the themes of this event. Guests can sample specially produced dogs while listening to music. Tickets to the festival include admission to the museum, which highlights African-American baseball players. 816.221.1920. —

Ethnic Enrichment Festival Aug. 16-18 at Swope Park, 3999 Swope Parkway in Kansas City. More than 60 different cultures will be highlighted at this event, with vendors selling native foods and crafts, and people performing ethnic music and dances. 816.513.7553. —

Irish Fest Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at Crown Center in Kansas City. Celtic Pride will be celebrated through 30 bands on seven stages, heritage workshops and displays, comedy, genealogy, and a massive children's area. —

SantaCaliGon Days Aug. 30-Sept. 2 in Independence. More than 300,000 people will attend this Labor Day festival, which commemorates the origin of the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon trails. 816.974.7333. —

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

Evvnt Calendar