Celebrating its history, culture, food, fashion sense and love of music, not to mention its feverish devotion to sports, Omaha knows how to throw a good party. Annual events and festivals throughout the year offer visitors a wide range of things to do.
The granddaddy of them all is the NCAA Men's College World Series. In Omaha since 1950, the CWS is one of the longest running sporting traditions in the country. This 10-day event every June features fan festivals, street vendors, live music, lots of food and the best college baseball in the country.
In the summer, it's all about outdoor music and art in all forms. The Summer Arts Festival features hundreds of the nation's finest visual artists, two stages of continuous musical performances and a hands-on children's fair. Sand in the City is 350 tons of fun. Sand artists from across the country create amazing and enormous sand sculptures. Visitors can watch and get in on the fun with two giant sandboxes, an interactive Kid zone with games and lots of delicious food. The MAHA Music Festival is an annual indie rock music event featuring national and local bands performing on two stages over eleven hours.
A summer tradition for more than 20 years, Jazz on the Green is the ultimate outdoor jam session featuring national and local jazz musicians playing every Thursday on the beautiful Turner Park lawn at Midtown Crossing. Shakespeare on the Green is nationally recognized for its unique artistry. Classic Shakespeare is performed in a tree-embraced, family-picnic environment. It's a great way to experience the power and beauty of classical theater in a relaxing outdoor setting. The Nebraska Balloon and Wine Festival is a two-day event showcasing award-winning Nebraska wines. The art of food is abundant at the Taste of Omaha. This three-day food fest showcases Omaha's great locally owned restaurants and their special recipes
One of the largest fashion events in the Midwest is Omaha Fashion Week. The August show includes more than 40 designers and 400 creations featuring Spring/Summer collections, and the March show features Fall/Winter collections.
Omaha's historic and ethnic culture is also a reason for celebration. The annual Intertribal Powwow is an outdoor event featuring traditional dance, music, artistry, storytelling, and foods of Nebraska's Native Americans. Cinco de Mayo is a festive and colorful celebration that fills Omaha's historic South 24th Street. It includes a massive parade, authentic food, as well as tortilla throwing and burrito-eating contests. The Greek Festival is all about the Opa! You'll find authentic Greek music, folk dancing, and delicious homemade Greek cuisine. Santa Lucia is a five-day carnival featuring everything Italian - cannoli eating contest, live music and the coronation of the festival queen. Everyone in Omaha is German when Oktoberfest rolls around with lots of schnitzel, pretzels, brats and, of course, beer and music. Once every two years, Omaha celebrates Native Omahan Days, a reunion/welcome home party. This bi-annual event is held in North Omaha and celebrates the community's historical and cultural heritage. All aboard for Railroad Days, a fun-filled weekend celebration of Omaha's railroad heritage. Every year, five area railroad-themed attractions celebrate trains, each in a distinctive way.
In August, soak up panoramic views as you watch top golfers from across the nation compete in the Cox Classic. This PGA event is a premier stop on the nationwide tour. Every September, the city celebrates its cowboy heritage with interactive adventures for the whole family. The AKSARBEN Stock Show & Rodeo is a four-day western festival that is the largest 4-H Stock Show in the country.
Omaha turns into a holiday wonderland beginning Thanksgiving night with the flip of a switch as more than one million holiday lights twinkle throughout downtown Omaha. The Holiday Lights Festival is a month-long celebration that includes live music, old-fashioned carolers, ice skating in the Old Market, Dancing Santas at the Symphony, the lighting of the official Christmas Tree, the traditional performance of A Christmas Carol, topped off with a beautiful fireworks display on New Year's Eve that lights up the sky over the Heartland of America Park.