Visit Omaha Adds Holiday Island to the City’s Landscape

OMAHA, NE – Get ready for a holiday surprise at this year’s kickoff to the Omaha Holiday Lights Festival. Visit Omaha has created “Holiday Island” in the Gene Leahy Mall as a gift to all of the residents, visitors, attractions, event organizers, restaurants and businesses that make Omaha an incredible visitor destination.

“It’s our way of thanking the local community for all it does to welcome and entertain more than 11 million out-of-towners who visit our city each year, “ said Keith Backsen, executive director of Visit Omaha. “Our goal is to add a little extra twinkle to this year’s holiday celebrations, and inspire others to do the same. It’s a fun addition to a popular event we hope continues to grow throughout the coming years.”

The Holiday Island decorations represent the following experiences that out-of-towners can enjoy when they visit our city and that locals can enjoy 365 days a year:

•  Giraffe with a chef hat: Omaha’s world-class zoo and dining scene.
•  Artist’s paint palette: Art museums, galleries and artists that make Omaha a cultural oasis in the plains.
•  Baseball glove: Omaha sporting events, from national and world competitions to regional and local tournaments.
•  Cello and ballet slippers: Performances, stage productions, performing arts organizations, theaters and venues.
•  Poinsettia tree and LEGO Bob: Omaha’s nature scene, from the riverfront and biking trails to the botanical gardens, lakes and city parks.
•  Train: Omaha’s history and all of the places dedicated to preserving and sharing it.
•  Gingerbread family: The variety of family activities sprinkled throughout the city.

Installation of Holiday Island begins Monday, November 21, 2016 and is expected to take two days. Decorations will remain through the first week of January 2017. We encourage everyone to check out Holiday Island and share their photos with #OmahaWeekend. Go to for ideas on fun things to do throughout the holidays with visiting friends and family. Also, check out the behind-the-scene photos to see how Holiday Island came together. Visit Omaha partnered with Clark Creative Group and Heartland Scenic Studio to create and install Holiday Island.

Visit Omaha, also known as the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau, is the official tourism authority for the City of Omaha.