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Organizers plan biggest and best Native Omaha Days yet
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Organizers plan biggest and best Native Omaha Days yet

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Back in the Day: Scenes of North Omaha

Native Omaha Days, North Omaha’s biennial celebration of family, friends and community that’s like a giant family reunion on North 24th Street, will take place this year with a full-fledged, weeklong festival from July 26 through Aug. 2.

The fun will include the traditional parade, concerts, gospel festival, blues concert, homecoming dance, food vendors and “Stroll Down Memory Lane,” organizers announced Monday.

While mindful that the pandemic has not ended completely, organizers are optimistic that it will abate much more by late July. Because thousands of people typically travel to Omaha for the event, the organizers want to be sure that people know it’s a definite go.

The 23rd biennial Native Omaha Days festival promises to be the biggest and best yet, said Vicki Quaites-Ferris, director of operations for the Empowerment Network.

Organizers hope that people “will feel comfortable about traveling and visiting their loved ones because again, last year was a year that no one probably saw anyone that they loved or were able to embrace,” she said. “And to able to have that happen, and maybe it might be the first time that it takes place, during the Native Omaha Days festival.”

Quaites-Ferris, who is the event planning facilitator for the Native Omaha Days organizing committee, spoke Monday at a press conference along with representatives of the Native Omahans Club, the Omaha Economic Development Corporation and other partners, as well as State Sen. Terrell McKinney, Omaha City Councilwoman Juanita Johnson and Douglas County Board member Chris Rodgers.

The parade will take place at 10 a.m. July 31 on North 30th Street. The blues concert will feature national headliners Pokey Bear and Big Robb, and local musicians will perform throughout the festival. The event will also include trolley tours, golf outings, a comedy jam, small-business vendors and a Culture Fest with children’s activities. Details will be on the festival’s website: nativeomahadays.org.

The pandemic has hit North Omaha hard, people miss each other, and they’re eager to reconnect, said Sheila Jackson, vice president of the Native Omahans Club.

“We proceeded with such passion because people are wanting to connect with their families, to see each other again,” she said.


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Chris Burbach covers the Douglas County Board, Planning Board and other local government bodies, as well as local neighborhood issues. Follow him on Twitter @chrisburbach. Phone: 402-444-1057.

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