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Omaha Magazine

September 2021 Explore Calendar

Aug 27, 2021 04:06PM ● By Megan Bartholomew

Photo via Des Moines Oktoberfest

NEBRASKA

Karly Driftwood and Dillon Gaige Sept. 8 at Shotguns Bar, 1332 P St. in Lincoln Country. Music singer/songwriter Karly Driftwood of Nashville joins Sutton, Nebraska, native Dillon Gaige.

downtownlincoln.org

Plattsmouth Harvest Festival Sept. 9-12 at various locations, Plattsmouth. This four-day annual festival— that was once a corn festival in the 1930s— presents tractor rides, carnival rides, parades, a cornhole competition, and music. 402.516.4914.
plattsmouthharvestfestival.com 

20th Annual Polishfest Sept. 12 at Polish Heritage Center Museum and St. Francis Community Hall, Ashton. This event will feature the music of Barry Boyce Band, educational workshops on the Polish language, and speaker Beth Gross. Traditional Polish food and music will also be available. 308.738.2260.
polishheritagecenter.com 

Harvest Fair Sept. 11-12 at Stuhr Museum, Grand Island. This popular fall event celebrates harvest time with live music, pumpkin activities, and harvest cookery. 308.385.5316.
stuhrmuseum.org

Lincoln Calling Sept. 23-25 in downtown Lincoln. Featuring headliners Lee Fields & The Expressions and Soccer Mommy, this annual non-profit musical festival aims to celebrate creativity. The festival prides itself on equal representation between male and female performers, as well as representing the LGBTQ+ community and performers of color. Email [email protected]
 lincolncalling.com

Legacy of the Plains Harvest Festival Sept. 18-19 at Legacy of the Plains Museum, Gering. For the 23rd year, the annual Harvest Festival attracts thousands of visitors for activities such as food vendors, a corn maze, livestock viewing, and more. The highlight crop this year is dry, edible beans. 308.436.1989. —legacyoftheplains.org

Richardson County Free Fair Sept. 15-18 at Richardson County Ag Society, Humboldt. Starting off each morning with a parade, the entertainment continues all three days with activities such as carnival rides and concessions. There are also competitive events including beef, horses, photography, textiles, and creative writing. 402.245.4324. —nebraskafairs.org

Ogallala Indian Summer Rendezvous Sept. 16-18 at Rendezvous Square, Ogallala. Going on their 34th year, downtown Ogallala offers a celebration of their past with bands, entertainment, dancing, and local talents. 308.289.5674.
ogallalaindiansummerrendezvous.com

Harvest Festival Sept. 16-19 in Gothenburg. The three-day event is the town’s annual festival, full of arts and crafts as well as a large parade. 308.537.3505. —gothenburgdelivers.com

The Dillon Gaige Band Sept. 17 at The Field Sports Bar and Grill, Diller. Dillon Gaige Band are an up-and-coming group of musicians. This show will feature another up-and-coming artist, Jake Kloefkorn. They have been participating in gigs all over Nebraska, and are excited to continue touring and meet new people. Admission: Free. 402.984.9914. —dillongaige.com

AppleJack Festival Sept. 17-19 various locations, Nebraska City. To kick off the apple harvest, this historic festival—with a turnout of 60,000 to 80,000 people- consists of apple pie, apple cider, caramel apples, and all other things apple. The weekend has over six craft fairs, a car show, live music, and has been named a USA Today Top 10 Fall Harvest Festival. 402.873.6654.
— nebraskacity.com

Annual Steele City Flea Market and Antique Farm Machinery Show Sept. 18-19 in Steele City. With food and live music, and free vendor space for vendors selling everything from crafts to antiques, this event attracts many. 402.729.5131.
— visitnebraska.com 

Norfolk Oktoberfest Sept. 24-25 in downtown Norfolk. During this two-day festival, Northeast Nebraska celebrates the area’s German heritage and fall harvest with a beer garden, live music, German food, and family entertainment. Attendees can also count on a tailgate, teen dance, and free rides home anywhere in Norfolk from 12:30-2:00 a.m. 402.371.4862.
norfolkareachamber.com

Grown Ups’ Getaway at the Pumpkin Patch TBD at Bloom Where You’re Planted Farm, Avoca. Kick off the pumpkin patch season by visiting the farm after dark to sip on beer and wine, and play games while listening to live music. 402.267.4104.
bloompumpkinpatch.com

Wakefield Balloons ’N’ BBQ Sept. 27-29 in Wakefield. For the 16th year, Wakefield will host hot air pilots, a Legion steak feed, and the BBQ Bash. The event will also offer a color run, omelet feed, craft and food vendors, a classic rock and country band, and more. 402.287.2080.—visitdixoncounty.org

Pumpkin Patch and Vintage Marketplace TBD, Bloom Where You’re Planted Farm, Avoca. The pumpkin patch season calls for a visit to the Avoca farm. Locally grown pumpkins of all shapes and colors are for sale, and guests can find activities such as hay rides on the farm. 402.267.4104.
bloompumpkinpatch.com

IOWA

Sleepy Hollow Renaissance Faire Sept. 4-6, 11-12, and 18-19 at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, Des Moines. This event is a magical experience for both young and old. When people enter the gates for the first time they will go back in time to an era when royalty ruled, knights jousted, and the arts came alive. 515.262.4100. —sleepyhollowrenfaire.com 

ARTapalooza Sept. 11 at Cedar Falls Community Main Street, Cedar Falls. Children and adults can participate in hands-on art activities and view work from over 40 participating artists. 319.277.0213. —communitymainstreet.org 

Beaverdale Fall Festival Sept. 17-18 in Beaver Falls, Des Moines. More than 40 years ago, merchants in the Beaverdale area first began this annual fall tradition, which now features sidewalk sales, carnival rides, music, beer tents, and a parade. The festival includes several activities such as an arts and crafts market, talent show, and horse rides. —fallfestival.org

43rd Annual Hot Air Balloon Days Sept. 17-19 at Creston Municipal Airport, Creston. Almost 40 hot air balloons will participate in races while guests stroll around the arts and crafts fair, flea market, and food booths. In addition there is a parade with a marching band contest, a balloon night glow, food booths, and more.  641.782.7021. —unioncountyiowatourism.com 

World Food & Music Festival Sept. 17-19 in downtown Des Moines. This festival will return to its location in downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park for its 17th year. This weekend offers international food, live music, dancing, cooking, wine and craft beers, and an exciting atmosphere. 515.286.4915. —dsmpartnership.com

Des Moines Oktoberfest Sept. 24-25 in downtown Des Moines. This weekend has much to offer, including a Craft Beer Village, Lederhosen Lane, and a Silent Disco Party. Prizes will be awarded to attendees dressed in authentic German attire. 515.371.4742. —oktoberfestdsm.com

Latino Heritage Festival Sept. 25-26 at Western Gateway Park, Des Moines. This family-oriented event educates attendees through arts, food, children’s activities, and cultural exhibits from Central and South American countries. The festival aims to teach a better understanding of Latino culture, and emphasize an appreciation for diversity. 515.279.0715.
latinoheritagefestival.org

KANSAS

Dancefestopia Sept. 9-12 at Emerald City, La Cygne. This three-day festival pairs a wild dance party with outdoor activities. This year features performers GRiZ, Zeds Dead, Rezz, and more. 877.987.6487 —dancefestopia.com

Kansas State Fair Sept. 10-19 at Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson. This 10-day long fair promotes Kansas culture with several attractions including animals, music, and shopping. 620.669.3600. —kansasstatefair.com

Spinach Festival Sept. 11 at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park, Lenexa. This family-oriented event celebrates the Spinach Capital of the World. Food, music, entertainment, art vendors, and the World’s Largest Spinach Salad can all be found at this free event that draws 8,000 people each year for a fun day of shopping and activities. 913.477.7131. —lenexa.com

Walnut Valley Festival Sept. 15-19 at Winfield Fairgrounds, Winfield. For five days, more than 3,000 contestants from all 50 states, as well as several foreign countries, gather in Winfield. Hired artists appear on stage and within the campground, while most attendees bring an instrument to play. 620.221.3250. —wvfest.com

Camp Leavenworth Sept. 24-25 at Leavenworth Landing Park, Leavenworth. Craft vendors, live entertainment, a firework display, and more can be found at this second annual festival, featuring hometown hero Melissa Etheridge. The iconic GRAMMY- and Oscar-winning singer/songwriter and activist will be joined by several local and regional acts throughout the weekend.  913.758.6752. —visitleavenworthks.com

2021 Latino Arts Festival Sept, 25 at KS Avenue of Murals, Kansas City. This event provides an opportunity for local Latin artists to showcase their work to the community. The artists will display pieces that influence, inform, and celebrate Latino culture, with singers, dancers, poets, bands and more. 913.940.4136. —latinoartsfoundationkc.com

Ciderfest Sept. 25-26 and Oct. 2-3 at the Louisburg Cider Mill, Louisburg. Activities such as pony rides and donut-making can be found at this annual fall festival. Visitors can also count on live music, and a 10-acre corn maze. 913.837.5202. —louisburgcidermill.com

MISSOURI

Irish Fest Sept. 3-5 at Crown Center Ice Terrance, Kansas City. This three-day event has been named one of the top Irish Festivals in the nation, and features over 30 bands, shops, food, and music. Email @kcirishfest.com. —kcirishfest.com

SantaCaliGon Days Festival Sept. 3-6 at Independence Square, Independence. Celebrated annually, this festival honors the City of Independence as the starting point of the Santa Fe and Oregon trails during America’s westward expansion. Expect to see live entertainment, vendors, and a carnival. Sawyer Brown is the headliner. 816.875.4112 —santacaligon.com

Grape and Fall Festival Sept. 8-11 at Nelson Hart Park, St. James. Carnival rides, live music, a grape stomp, demolition derbies, and more are found at this event. Maddie & Tae will perform on Thursday night. 573.265.6649. —visitmo.com

Independence Uncorked Wine Festival Sept. 11 at Bingham-Waggoner Estate, Independence. Bring your ID and leave the kids and dogs at home for an afternoon of tasting wines from 25 Missouri wineries and spirits from a local distillery. Email [email protected] for more information. —independenceuncorked.com

Laurie Hillbilly Fair Sept. 17-18 at 269 Fairgrounds Drive, Laurie. Crafts, food, music, and carnival rides make for an enjoyable weekend in Laurie. 573.374.8776. —cityoflaurie.com

State of the Ozark Festival Sept. 18 at Historic Downing Street, Hollister. A variety of activities are offered at this festival, including dancing, shopping, yoga sessions, cosplay, and crafts. 417.335.1371. —explorebranson.com

Annual Autumn Daze Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival Sept. 16-18 in downtown Branson. This free event features live music, homemade crafts, and a sidewalk sale. Throughout each day, an entertainment stage will feature free live music from some of Branson’s finest entertainers 417.334.1548. —explorebranson.com

Harvest Hootenanny Sept. 17-18 at Mark Twin Cave, Hannibal. Featuring many activities for kids and adults, the two-day event celebrates the town’s history and scenery. Arts and crafts, pumpkin painting, and tree climbing are just some of the all-age activities offered. 573.221.2477. —visithannibal.com

Bluegrass Battles Hunger Sept. 24-25 at Coleman Hawkins Park, St. Joseph. Proceeds from this concert go towards supporting hunger relief efforts through Second Harvest Community Food Bank. Guests can look forward to food truck cuisine and vendor fare. Email [email protected] for more information. —bluegrassbattleshunger.org

Fall Festival of Arts and Crafts Sept. 24-26 at Main Street, Washington. The historic town attracts many artists to sell their unique products. Live music, a food court, and a children’s area are also some highlights of this event. 636.239.1743. —visitmo.com

Lee’s Summit Oktoberfest Sept. 24-26 in downtown Lee’s Summit. This free festival will have all things Oktoberfest—live entertainment and activities included. Taste home brews and chow down on brats, or take a trip to the “Rootbiergarten.” 816.524.2424. —lsoktoberfest.com 

Overland Park Fall Festival Sept. 25 at Overland Park Farmers Market, Overland Park. This community-oriented celebration features high school bands, local businesses, dance troupes, and a parade through downtown Overland Park. 913.344.8656. —opkansas.org

Event times and details may change. 

Visit omahamagazine.com for complete listings.

Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.

This article originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.