Top Events and Festivals in Nebraska
Explore this selection of the top annual events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) in Nebraska
Please note: Top Events USA does not include every single event on offer in Nebraska – only those recognized as the best by residents of Nebraska, visitors to the "Cornhusker State", the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA and officials of Nebraska too.
Nebraska is known as the “Cornhusker State”, a nickname that refers to the "husking" of corn by hand in Nebraska before the invention of husking machinery.
Crane Watch Festival
Proclaimed as the Sandhill Crane Capital of the World, Kearney welcomes more than 80% percent of the world’s population of sandhill cranes traveling from southern wintering grounds to northern breeding grounds in Canada, Alaska and Siberia. Celebrating their stop along the Platte to rest and gain body fat before they continue their journey, the sandhill cranes are the focus of this popular event that also features fun-filled, educational, family activities including the Miss Crane Watch Festival Pageant, entertainment and community wide events taking place in Kearney, Minden, and Gibbon.
For more information about the Crane Watch Festival in Kearney visit:
Arbor Day Celebration
Nebraska City, Nebraska
Celebrated each year on the last Friday in April, every state has their own Arbor Day, a celebration of tree planters around the world that encourages tree planting and care. It is a celebration that is particularly important to Nebraska because the event originated in Nebraska where it was founded by J Sterling Morton in 1872. Citywide, the event includes children's activities and live entertainment, a Family Fun Festival at Wildwood Historic Center, a parade and a 5K trail run.
For more information about the Arbor Day Celebration in Nebraska City visit:
Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival
late May – early June
This award-winning festival brings nationally-known storytellers, poets and musicians to the stage in celebration of ordinary people living extraordinary lives. Usually held the first weekend after Memorial day each year, the festival is organized by the Buffalo Commons Storytelling Committee which falls within the umbrella of the McCook Arts Council. Also under the auspices of the event, there is a story book project to raise stories, publish them on the Internet and eventually in a book.
For more information about the Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival in McCook visit: http://www.buffalocommons.org
Intertribal Gathering at Fort Robinson State Park
The Intertribal Gathering, a local American Indian Pow Wow held at Fort Robinson State Park, attracts more than 3,500 people, designed to celebrate and promote cultural awareness in northwestern Nebraska. Participants observe and display traditional Native American Indian music, dance, crafts, and other traditions. The Gathering focuses on American Indian heritage and artistic performances including drumming, singing, storytelling, and dance.
For more information about the Intertribal Gathering at Fort Robinson State Park visit:
Omaha Summer Arts Festival
Offering three days of art, music and fun, the Omaha Summer Arts Festival takes place all over the downtown area of Omaha and features more than 100 artists showcasing their talents and artwork in everything from paintings to sculptures, along with live music throughout as well as numerous events, activities and displays for children. Previously selected as Omaha’s Best Annual Festival and one of the Top 100 Fine Arts Festivals in the country, the Omaha Summer Arts Festival was named one of 2007’s Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association - the only event in Nebraska to receive this honor in 2007.
For more information about the Omaha Summer Arts Festival visit:
North Platte, Nebraska
NEBRASKAland Days, the largest event in western Nebraska is a celebration of the state of Nebraska and its heritage. Complete with top name concerts, parades, athletic contests, food events, micro brew festival, boxing, art shows and rodeos, the event attracts more than 100,000 people to North Platte for 12 action-packed days of fun.
For more information about NEBRASKAland Days in North Platte visit:
Wayne Chicken Show
A local tradition since 1981, the Chicken Show is a fun event held annually on the second Saturday in July. The Wayne Chicken Show received the 1996 Nebraska Outstanding Tourism Award and was selected in 1999, along with four other community events in America, to be featured in the Library of Congress. The Wayne Chicken Show 2005 was the winner of two Nebraska State Pinnacle Awards by Nebraska Festival and Events, Inc. The Wayne Chicken Show and Henoween involve nearly 1,000 volunteers who help to make this festival fun and “cheep” for all who attend. Attractions include a National Cluck-Off, World's Largest Chicken Dance, children's games, kite flying, fireworks and live entertainment.
For more information about the Wayne Chicken Show visit:
John C Fremont Days Festival
Named in the list of the top 100 events in North America, the 27th annual John C Fremont Days Festival celebrating the life and times of John C Fremont offers a wealth of events including a rodeo and various other sporting events, a craft and vendor show, Little Miss Fremont Pageant, the ever popular parade, hot air balloon events, food courts and even food eating contests, square dancing, archery tournaments, martial arts demonstrations, cosmic bowling and much more.
For more information about the John C Fremont Days Festival visit:
Nebraska's Big Rodeo
An annual event in Burwell, Nebraska for more than 86 years, Nebraska’s Big Rodeo held at Burwell’s Rodeo Grounds features seven professional rodeo events, professional rodeo clown acts, motor cycle dare devils, chuck wagon races, chariot races, a wild horse race, junior steer riding, bull riding, dinner bell derby, trick riders, and midway.
For more information about Nebraska's Big Rodeo in Burwell visit:
Nebraska Star Party
The Nebraska Star Party is a large regional star party held each summer in North Central Nebraska. The remote and sparsely populated area of Sanke River Campground at Merritt Reservoir at a 3,100-foot altitude is the perfect location for this premier star party. Also, the fact that the Sandhills are a dry, sandy, upland plateau helps to keep the haze low and the transparency high. Events also include a beach party, contests, canoe and tubing trip, and educational activities for kids.
For more information about the Nebraska Star Party in Valentine visit:
early / mid August
Hastings , Nebraska
Celebrating the invention of Nebraska’s Official Soft Drink by Edwin Perkins in Hastings, Nebraska more than 80 years ago, Kool-Aid Days attracts over 20,000 visitors to enjoy more than 30 different events including including a parade, games, entertainment and the world's largest Kool-Aid stand. In 2006, Kool-Aid Days won the Governor’s Award for Most Outstanding Nebraska Event in a city of 20,000 or more.
For more information about Kool-Aid Days in Hastings visit:
late August – early September
Qwest Convention Center – Omaha, Nebraska
Voted one of the top events in the USA, named one of the top 50 Old West Trail Events in Old West Trail Country and saluted as the number one event in Omaha, Nebraska’s mammoth 4-day, award-wining SeptemberFest has been an Omaha tradition for more than 34 years. An event for the whole family, SeptemberFest offers entertainment in the music tent, a Labor Day parade complete with a free concert of patriotic and pop selections, a mechanical bull, circus, fireworks and an endless list of other special events like the Omaha Rollergirls, Omaha’s premier all-female roller derby team.
For more information about SeptemberFest in Omaha visit:
Husker Harvest Days
Grand Island, Nebraska
The world's largest totally irrigated working farm show, Husker Harvest Days has become one of the nation’s premier working farm shows, with exhibitors and field demonstrations geared to Nebraska and Western Corn Belt agriculture. It is the nation’s largest farm show in which all field crops and plots are irrigated. Visitors from Nebraska and more than 20 other states have attended the three-day event. They are welcomed by 500 exhibitors, offering a wide range of products and services. Events include more than 80 acres of exhibits, field demonstrations, seminars, crafts and artwork and more.
For more information about Husker Harvest Days visit:
Nebraska's Junk Jaunt
220 miles along NE Hwys 11, 91 & 2, Nebraska
The Nebraska Junk Jaunt is a 300-mile continuous yard sale event in central Nebraska that encourages both residents and businesses to participate by having yard sales, sidewalk sales, special promotions, and events. Two of Nebraska's most beautiful Scenic Byways, The Sandhills Journey Byway and the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway, form the basic "looping route" of the JUNK JAUNT. Also included, and a very important part of this fun event, are the numerous small towns and villages on the west, on the east and inside the "looping Byway/JUNK JAUNT” route. Each of 35-40 towns organizes a 3-day yard sale. Most towns will have at least one “Central Set-Up” location for vendors. Last year, this fun event drew 20,000 people from 32 states and 70 of 93 Nebraska counties.
For more information about Nebraska's Junk Jaunt visit: