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Omaha Magazine

July/August 2021 Explore Calendar

Jun 25, 2021 04:38PM ● By Omaha Magazine
red and blue fireworks

Photo via Jingda Chen on Unsplash


Uncle Sam Jam! July 3 at Oak Lake Park, Lincoln. This family-friendly event 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. The biggest Independence Day celebration in Columbus brings event goers a day of live music from Barrel House, activities, a bouncy house, and more. Fireworks starting at dusk. 402-564-2769.

49th Annual Flea Market July 3-5 at City Park in Fairbury. This annual event features more than 215 vendors, where everything from dishes to clothes will be available for purchase, along with great food. A Fourth of July Celebration will take place the first day. 402-729-322.

1890s 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, games, and more. Runners should be sure to check out the annual Firecracker 5K, which kicks off at 7 a.m. 308-385-5316. —

Oregon Trail Days July 8-11 throughout Scottsbluff. This annual event is one of the oldest community festivals in Nebraska. The celebration includes a kickoff barbecue, a hill climb bicycle ride to the top of Scotts Bluff National Monument, a chili cook-off, horseshoe tournament, and more. 308- 632-2133. —

John C. Fremont Days July 9-11 throughout Fremont. Held every second week of July, this event celebrates John C. Fremont, and includes free activities, historical tours, car and bike shows, vendors, antiques, and live entertainment. 402-727-9428. —

GermanFest July 13 throughout Syracuse. An event celebrating German culture brings event-goers a grand parade, ribfest, tractor pulls, live music, entertainment, and more. 402-269-3242. —

Alliance Heritage Days July 13-18 throughout Alliance. Celebrating 4o years of Alliance heritage and history, this five day event brings carnival rides, various vendors, live musical entertainment, a parade, games, and so much more. 308-762-5400. —

Zoofest TBD 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 16-25, 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 more relaxed events like horseshoe pitching and chess. 402-471-2544.

Flight Night July 17 at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland. Stargaze with the Omaha Astronomical Society or view planetarium shows at this after-hours event. Enjoy free simulator rides and guided tours of the HU-16 Albatross, Black Holes Exhibit, Space Humanities Longest Journey Exhibit, and more. This is a 21 and over evening out, with a cash-only bar. 402-944-3100. —

Nebraska Star Party Aug. 1-6 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.

Columbus Days Aug. 13-15 throughout Columbus. Attendees can spend the weekend listening to live music, enjoying food, a cornhole contest, bed races, a parade, and more. 402-564-2769. —

Kool-Aid Days Aug. 20-22 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, a fun run/walk, and more. 402-461-8405.

Nebraska State Fair Aug. 27-Sept. 6 at the state fairgrounds in Grand Island. Participate in traditional fair activities like livestock exhibits, a midway, and lots of fried food. Concerts include Theory of a Deadman, Trace Adkins, Cody Jinks, and more. 308-382-1620.


Independence Day July 3 at Living History Farms in Urbandale. Celebrate America’s birthday with a family-oriented 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 2-3 in downtown Iowa City. This two-day event brings a weekend of live jazz performances, food vendors and fireworks displayed over the University of Iowa Pentacrest to close out the festival. 319-337-7944. —

Saturday In The Park July 2-3 at Grandview Park in Sioux City. On July Fourth weekend, Sioux City hosts a free music festival. This event is free admission, but you will need to reserve a ticket to attend. Friday’s headliner is indie pop trio AJR and the legendary John Fogerty will be the headliner on Saturday. 712-277-2575. —

AnimeIowa 2019: Post-a-pig-alyptic July 30 to August 1 at Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Des Moines. The biggest anime convention in Iowa is back for another year of cosplay, guest appearances, panels and more. —

Christmas in July July 10 in downtown Oskaloosa. Celebrate Christmas in the summer with fun and festivities for the whole family! From 2-8 p.m. on the Square, there will be games, activities, and a Christmas movie outdoors. Funds raised will benefit the Painting with Lights display. 641-672-2591.

Tour de Brew July 17 at Millstream Brewery in Amana. Millstream Brewery brings a unique twist to this event that allows goers to bike to different breweries for a beer tasting. Food will be available at the end of the tour. 319-622-3672. —

Washington County Fair July 18-23 at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Washington. This annual county fair includes rodeo and motocross events, a talent show, demolition derby, and more fun for the family. 319-653-2552.

Southern Iowa Fair July 18-23 at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds in Oskaloosa. This yearly event brings six days of rides, food vendors and more, with musical guest Lonestar. 641-673-7004. —

RAGBRAI July 25-31 in multiple cities across Iowa. Thousands of bicyclists will converge upon Iowa for one week for this annual ride. This year’s event travels the state from Council Bluffs in western Iowa to Keokuk in eastern Iowa. Come for the ride, stay for the homemade pie found in each town along the route. 515-284-8341. —

NordicFest July 22-24 in downtown Decorah. This town promotes its Scandanavian 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  TBD at Western Gateway Park in Des Moines. Attendees can participate in Grape Stomping, A Street Chalk Art Competition, Bocce, or Cannoli-eating contests, listen to a variety of bands or watch cooking demonstration, and eat lots of Italian food. 515-770-9839. —

Above and Beyond: National Balloon Classic July 30-Aug. 7 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. 6-8 at Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater in St. Charles. Guests will be entertained with music from a talented number of 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.

Iowa State Fair Aug. 12-22 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Revel in the family-friendly atmosphere of this annual and traditional event, featuring rollercoasters for all ages, games, and much more. Special guests include The Chainsmokers, Pentatonix, Hootie and the Blowfish, and comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias. 515-262-3111. —


Toronto Days Through July 4 at the Toronto Reservoir, Cross Timbers State Park and Toronto Wildlife Area in Toronto. Celebrating 150 years of Toronto, this three-day event offers vendors, booths, games, musical entertainment, and a parade. The event will close out with a fireworks show. 620-637-2985. —

2019 Sundown Salute July 3 at the Historic Heritage Park in Junction City. This five-day event celebrates Independence Day with a vast collection of vendors, food, a carnival, a car show, and live music entertainment. 620-225-3277.

Junque N’ Donuts Flea Market July 10 at Louisburg Cider Mill in Louisburg. Vendors will be setting up shop to showcase their treasures. Event-goers can shop around or stop into the Mill for refreshing cider and delicious cider donuts.  913-837-5202. —

Appellation KC July 17 at Fiorella’s Event Center in Overland Park. This event will have 150-plus different wines from all around the world for tasting selected by sommelier Zach Cherry. All net proceeds will benefit the Rescue K-911 Foundation, a no-kill, foster animal rescue foundation.

Dodge City Days July 30 to Aug. 8 in Dodge City. Running into early August, this two week celebration will mark the 59th year of the festival. This event will have food trucks, an obstacle course, BBQ contest, a car show, and more. 620-227-3119. —

Anderson County Fair July 26-Aug. 30 in Garnett. This free, annual family event includes carnival rides, tractor pulls, demolition derby, and free musical entertainment featuring the Dirty Bourbon Band. 785-448-6767. —

Helen Gillet Aug. 25 at the 1900 Building in Mission Woods. Gillet is a singer-songwriter and surrealist-archeologist exploring synthesized sounds, texture, and rhythm using an acoustic cello. Her solo performance is known for its enigmatic quality as she fabricates each song with innovative use of the cello and true mastery of live looping technology. 913-730-1905. —


Fourth of July Extravaganza July 4 at Rothwell Park and Howard Hills Athletic Complex in Moberly. This July Fourth celebration includes games, inflatables, food trucks, live entertainment, and more. Fireworks will begin at dark. 660-269-8705 x 2040.

2019 Kansas City Air Show July 3-4 at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. This two-day event comes back for another year of aerobatic performances, demonstrations, and an appearance by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. —

Sand Cinema Presents: Disney’s ALADDIN July 9 at Longview Lake Beach in Blue Springs, Mo. Bring the family down for this lakeside event and enjoy a movie on the inflatable screen. Complimentary photos with Jasmine from @ThePrincessLife. Concessions are available.  660-269-8705 x2040. —

KC Fringe Festival July 18 to Aug. 1 in Kansas City. This is a 14-day festival of unjuried, uncensored performing and visual arts features performers and creators from all over—local, national, and international. 816-359-9195.

Aquapalooza July 17 at Lake of the Ozarks. This family-friendly summer event held at Osage Beach brings boating events, live music, activities, and prizes.  On the Water Party at Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill. 573-348-9797.

Rublecon 2019 July 17 at the Relics Event Center in Springfield. This family-friendly event brings local artists for a day of cosplay, costume contests, cash prizes, toys and comics, and more. 417-882-0070. —

The Illusionists—Direct From Broadway July 20-25 at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City. This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on Earth. The show has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. 816-363-7827. —

Virtual Ethnic Festival Aug. 21-23 Online Event in Kansas City. This event will be livestreamed this year in lieu of an in-person festival at Swope Park. The annual tradition will still offer food, music, crafts, and dances from all around the world, supplied by locals in the KC metro area. 816-513-7553. —

Alicia Keys Aug. 25 at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City. The 15-time Grammy Award-winning artist, songwriter, musician, and producer returns to the stage to bring her repertoire of worldwide hits to iconic venues across North America and Europe. 816-363-7827.

Martina McBride Aug. 29 at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. Multiple Grammy nominee Martina McBride is bringing her Livin Life Up Tour the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. Country musician Hailey Whitters will open the show.

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

This calendar originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.