The Nebraska football season opener is likely high on many people’s weekend plans, but there also will be many other events to choose from.
From festivals to a living history event, the unofficial last weekend of summer is packed with entertainment options for the whole family.
Here’s a rundown of events:
Night MarketTurner Park at Midtown Crossing in Omaha will be the site of a Night Market from 6-10 p.m. Friday.
The event will feature an eclectic mash-up of more than 40 vendors, festival food and drinks, giant lawn games and entertainment. Admission is free.
La Festa ItalianaThe 35th annual La Festa Italiana will take place Friday through Sunday at the American Italian Heritage Society, 132nd and Fort streets, in Omaha.
Guests can celebrate the Italian heritage with 30 varieties of authentic Italian foods, wine, beer and musical entertainment.
Festival hours are 6-11 p.m. Friday, 5-11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday. Live bands will play each night at 8 p.m.
Children’s activities will include face painting, Italian cutouts for fun photos, balloon sculptors, a magician, painting easels and bounce houses for both children and toddlers.
Bellino Fireworks will present a fireworks display at 10 p.m. Friday and Sunday. A traditional Catholic Mass will be celebrated at 10:15 a.m. Sunday. This Mass is partly said and sung in Italian.
Tickets will be $7 at the door. Children under 12 will be admitted free with an adult.
SeptemberFestSeptemberFest – A Salute to Labor – offers four days of entertainment, educational and artistic displays, many food options, a carnival and Omaha’s largest parade.
The festival is held at CHI Health Center Omaha’s Parking Lot D.
Hours of the festival are 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday and noon to midnight Saturday through Monday. Admission is $7. Children under age 5 will be admitted free.
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Saturday and Monday will feature MusicFest in the entertainment tent. The Saturday lineup includes: Moneymakers, 6-7:15 p.m.; The Ozzbournes, 7:30-8:45 p.m.; Sinners & Saints, 9-10:15 p.m.; Ecstatic, 10:30 p.m. to midnight. Monday’s lineup includes: Grunge Pop, 1:30-3 p.m.; 3 & Out, 3:15-4:30 p.m.; Tragic Kingdom, 4:45-6 p.m.; Topspin, 6:15-7:30 p.m.; Knight & Daze, 7:45-9 p.m.
The Kiddie Kingdom will include a comedy juggler and magician, a stilt-walker, Omaha Wild Clowndum, an appearance by Spider-Man and Robot Rangers, and more.
An All-American Car & Truck Show will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday. The entry fee is $15 day of show. There is no pre-registration.
The SeptemberFest parade will begin at 10 a.m. Monday. The parade starts at 16th and Cass streets, travels south on 16th Street to Capitol Avenue, continues east on Capitol to 10th Street and concludes by proceeding north on 10th Street to Mike Fahey Street.
The two-hour parade, which includes five gigantic balloons, marching bands, floats, animals, clowns and roaming artists, will go on rain or shine.
Living History WeekendFort Atkinson State Historical Park near Fort Calhoun will be hosting a living history event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday featuring World War II military vehicles and a presentation on the Holocaust.
The Holocaust presentation is set for 1-2 p.m. both days in the visitor center. It will be given by a speaker from the Institute for Holocaust Education. Other presentations will include an archaeology tour from noon to 1 p.m. both days, led by Nolan Johnson of Nebraska History, and a talk on Fort Atkinson’s keelboats from 11 a.m. to noon both days by Wade Davis and Terry Bush.
Throughout the weekend, visitors can view an encampment showcasing military history from the Revolutionary War to the present day, with special representation of World War II and the Vietnam War. Military vehicles and equipment dating back to World War II also will be on display.
Other special guests will include the Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard from Fort Riley (Saturday only), a Civil War-era horse-drawn artillery, and the Iron Soldiers of the Great Plains, a local affiliate of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association.
“This is a great representation of military history from the Revolutionary War to current times,” said park superintendent Jason Grof. “You get the chance to see some interesting vehicles and displays, and the mounted color guard is a fantastic unit.”
A park entry permit is required.
hutchfestNorth Downtown Omaha’s hutchfest will be showcasing over 300 maker pop-ups from Omaha and across the Midwest.
The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at 11th and Nicholas streets. Admission is $10 for adults. Kids 12 and under will be admitted free.
There will be an elevated brunch experience dished up street-style and a full-scale assortment of gourmet brunch-themed cocktail stations. Visitors also are invited to watch live and local music performances curated by MAHA, play over-sized lawn games and snap selfies at one of many Instagram stations.