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Omaha Magazine

March/April 2021: Explore! Calendar

Feb 25, 2021 09:07AM ● By Tara Spencer

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


14th Annual Polar Bear Tank Race March 5 and 6 at Middle Loup River near Mullen. This timed event features teams of four-to-six people who race 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.

The Nutcracker Ballet March 6-7 at the Lied Center, Lincoln. The Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company will present its 36th annual production of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker. 420-472-4747.

Rodeo Grand Island TBA 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.

Shamrock Shuffle 5K Walk/Run/Crawl March 13 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.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration March 17-20 in downtown O’Neill. The home of the “The World's Largest Shamrock” with 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 more. 402-336-2355.

Audubon’s Annual Nebraska Crane Festival March 6 to April 11 at multiple locations along the Platte River. 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.

Smorgasboard March 21 at the high school in Henderson. This event is a German feast as Nebraskans’ foremothers made it. The buffet includes verenika (a cottage cheese pocket with ham gravy over it), apple priescha (apple turnover), ham and noodles, zwiebach (roll), pluma mos (raisins and prunes cooked into a thick soup), schnetya (rolled up fruit filled or raisin filled dessert), worscht (pork sausage), kumpzt borscht (cabbage soup), kluptz (meat patties) and plautz (cherry or peach dessert). The high school band will perform following the dinner. 402-723-4434.

Nebraska Robotics Expo April 8-10 at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland. This virtual event will include a CEENBoT Showcase, Creative Visual Arts Expo, and a FIRST Lego League Competition. 402-944-3100.

Full Moon Horseback Excursion April 25 at Dusty Trails in North Platte. This trail ride begins at dawn and allows riders to experience the awakening prairie before enjoying a morning in the viewing blind, where you can see the prairie chicken dance. A hearty breakfast will be served when you return to the ranch. 308-530-0048.

Easter Weekend at Arbor Lodge April 10-12 at Arbor Lodge Mansion in Nebraska City. At this event, guests can discover the history of Easter traditions, enjoy fresh blooms, learn about spring planting on the Morton Farm, and view a vintage Easter postcard display. The mansion is open for self-guided tours and an egg hunt. 402-873-8722. —

Earth Day April 25 in Lincoln. This year's event will be bigger, and better than ever. The activities includes live music, informational booths, food trucks, and a farmer’s market.


Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival TBD. This annual event will pair the tastes and sounds of the Caribbean with over 10,000 slices of bacon.  There will be two stages of entertainment, a silent disco and silent yoga, and lots of lectures and educational events in the Chamber of Bacon Enlightenment.

St. Patrick’s Day Festival March 14-21 in Emmetsburg. This sister city of Dublin, Ireland, celebrates the “wearing o’ the green” in a grand way. Events include a bean bag tournament, fish fry, Guinness cookout tasting, 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.

38th Annual Maple Syrup Festival March 20 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.

15th Annual Mission Creek Festival April 1-4 at the Englert in Iowa City. This is an intimate festival experience in downtown Iowa City focusing on music and literature. The program highlights quality, independent-minded sounds, words, and events hosted in venues across downtown Iowa City. 319-688-2653.

Take A Bite Festival April 17-19 at Amana Colonies. This is an award-winning three-day food experience that features sampling, hands-on demonstrations, and special dinners. Each evening features a special dining event like a historic Amana Colonies communal dinner served in the only intact communal kitchen or a vintners dinner that pairs a specially selected menu with expertly selected wines, or maybe an afternoon tea. 319-622-7622.

Drake Road Races Half Marathon and 5K April 18 at The Blue Oval in Des Moines. Before the official start of the competitive Drake Relays, runners of all abilities can participate in the road races. On April 21, people can participate in the Grand Blue Mile, which has hosted more than 35,000 participants from 36 states, six countries, and four continents.

111th Drake Relays April 21-24 at The Blue Oval in Des Moines. One of the nation’s premier track and field events for over 100 years, the Drake Relays has seen the likes of Jesse Owens, and Lillie Leatherwood on their track. On campus, check out the Street Paintings, in which student organization paints a square of concrete along a street that runs in front of Cowles Library.


One Night in Memphis March 20 at Hutchinson’s Historic Fox Theatre. “One Night in Memphis” features over 90 minutes of pure rockabilly, country, gospel and rock and roll in a very authentic and energetic presentation featuring nationally known talent.

123rd Annual Midwest Art Exhibition March 21-23 at Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery. This exhibition was founded in 1899 by three Lindsborg artists—Birger Sandzén, Carl Lotave, and G. N. Malm—as a complement to the annual Messiah Festival held at Bethany College. It represents the longest running annual art exhibition in Kansas.

Lindsborg Landmark Concert Series—Jazz Walk March 26 at Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Lindsborg Jazz Walk will feature jazz musicians at several locations on Main Street in Lindsborg, where a different style of jazz can be found in each spot.

Belle Plaine’s Downtown Festival April 9-11 at Downtown Belle Plaine. Celebrating their 150th anniversary, downtown Belle Plaine will burst with fun activities for adults and children alike. Enjoy live stage entertainment, a carnival, festival food, a vendor fair, a poker run, vintage car and bike show, and more.

Celtic Woman April 10 at Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts. Celtic Woman is recognized as the most successful all-female group in Irish history. They have 12 consecutive Billboard No. 1 hits, 10 million in album sales, a Grammy nomination, and 1 billion online streams.

Kegs ’N’ Eggs April 17 at Kansas City Renaissance Festival grounds in Bonner Springs. Guests can hunt for golden eggs and win prizes while sipping on craft beers, eating good food and listening to live music at this adults-only event. Take home a commemorative glass and free t-shirt to remember your time in Bonner Springs. 913.721.2110.

Aggieville Showdown April 17 at Aggieville Business District on Moro Street. The Aggieville Showdown is a unique show. The event starts at the Riley County Fairgrounds, where exhibitors will battle it out to have the chance to show their market prospect cattle or breeding heifers in the streets of the Aggieville Business District. Other events include a fashion show, live music, and even some poetry.  

28th Annual Kansas Storytelling Festival April 23-24 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. —

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood: Scared Scriptless April 25 at Hutchinson’s Historic Fox Theatre. Armed with only their wits, Whose Line is it Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are taking to the live stage, no scripts allowed.


Unbound Book Festival Through April 23, online. The Unbound Book Festival Celebrates literature of all kinds. This year, the whole festival will be online. This means you'll be able to watch them all. The festival will culminate with their keynote event on April 23, featuring last year’s planned guests, Pulitzer Prize winners Tracy K. Smith and Jericho Brown.

Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships March 10-14 at Sprint Center and Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. The Big 12 Conference has announced a one-year extension to the multi-year agreement for Kansas City to serve as the host site for the Phillips 66 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. The events will remain in Kansas City through 2025.  816.691.3800

Planet Comicon April 16-18 at Bartle Hall Convention Center in Kansas City. Celebrate 20 years of superheroes, pop culture and more at Kansas City’s largest and longest-running comic book convention and pop culture expo. The three day event will feature the best in comic books, fantasy, science fiction television and movies. 816.533.3126

Saint Louis Storytelling Festival April 23-May 2 at various venues across St. Louis. The power of stories is unparalleled, and storytelling is an evolving and dynamic form of art. Celebrating its 41st anniversary, the St. Louis Storytelling festival is the largest free festival of its kind in the world. The multi-day celebration of stories will feature storytellers from across the nation, as well regional storytellers from the St. Louis community. 314.266.4833.

This calendar was printed in the March/April 2021 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. 

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