BY LAUREN FEDEN | ILLUSTRATION BY KAYLIN PRATT
A common complaint is that there is nothing fun to do in Nebraska. Don’t let this interfere with the perfect summer! With a little research an exciting bucket list can be created anywhere. When you are done reading the story, fill out your own bucket list.
Pop quiz! What is the Nebraska state soft drink? … Kool-aid! So of course there would be a Nebraska festival entirely devoted to it. There are turnip festivals in Massachusetts, so at least Kool-aid festivals are slightly more normal. This festival will happen in Hastings, NE on June 7 – 9th. If this festival isn’t interesting enough, it will also include the World’s Largest Kool-aid stand. Hastings is about a 2 ½ hour drive away, but how many opportunities to go to a Kool-aid festival will there be? This is definitely a must-have Nebraska summer bucket list item.
SAND IN THE CITY
This event will be held on June 5 – 7th. On the 5th, teams will build giant sand sculptures in the parking lot of the century link center. The sculptures will then be judged and an award ceremony will take place. The next two days of the event will be viewing days of the sand art. There will also be entertainment, fun and bounce houses. This event is an annual event held to raise awareness and funds for the Nebraska Children’s Home Society. Admission is free for the two second days. When else will there be an opportunity to get a selfie with a giant sand sculpture? No summer is complete without one.
SHAKESPEARE ON THE GREEN
This event is keyed more towards English and theater nerds, but could definitely be fun for all. The event is free, although a small donation of $10-20 donation would be appreciated to help offset the cost of the production. This year, “Twelfth Night” will be performed on June 20-23rd and July 3rd, 5th and 7th. “Titus Andronicus” will run from June 27-30th and July 2 and 6th. The performances start at 8:00, but attendees are invited to come at 6:00 for fun and food to complete the “Shakesperience.”
Music festivals and concerts are a popular bucket list item for any time of the year. If you can’t get your music fix from shadow lake concerts and the occasional big name century link concert, check out these music festivals for must-have bucket list fun.
LOLLAPALOOZA – This 3 day music festival in Chicago is probably already on a lot of teen bucket lists for this summer. It will be held from July 31 to August 2nd of this year. Unfortunately, tickets are already sold out, so unless you have almost $2,000 for VIP seats you will have to get scalped tickets. Make sure you do enough research to make sure you are actually getting real tickets. If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Get on stubhub or other ticket sites that have a policy that protects you if you buy tickets that are not legit. Stubhub guarantees that the tickets they sell will gain you entry to the event or they will replace your tickets for ones that will.If you are interested in the lineup for Lollapalooza go to Lollapalooza.com. If you can’t afford or find tickets, consider simply putting a trip to Chicago on your bucket list, the city has lots of fun things to explore.
MAHA MUSIC FESTIVAL – The Maha music festival will take place at 12:00 pm, August 15th in Stinson park at Aksarben Village. Tickets are $50 for general admission and $175 for VIP. The lineup includes Modest Mouse, Atmosphere, Purity Ring, Wavves, The Jayhawks, Alvvays, Ex Hex, The Good Life, Speedy Ortiz, All Young Girls Are machine Guns, Freakabout, and BOTH. More information can be found on the maha music festival website.
NEBRASKALAND DAYS – This is a definite must-see for Country music fans. This North Platte concert series takes place from June 26th-27th. On the 26th Colt Ford will open for Florida-Georgia Line and on the 27th Will Hoge will open for Thomas Rhett. Tickets are $59 for general admission to Florida-Georgia Line and $39 for Thomas Rhett. If anyone needs to get in touch with their Nebraska roots this summer, this is the way to do it!
VANS WARPED TOUR – The Vans warped tour is traveling across the country and will be in Kansas on July 30th. The concert will be in Bonner Springs, KS at the cricket wireless ampitheater. This is about a three hour drive from Omaha. General admission tickets are priced from $44.25 – $55.50 depending on if you want a 3D collector ticket or a regular one. The lineup includes 92 artists but is subject to change. You can view the lineup by going to the warped tour website, clicking on the dates tab, and then clicking on July 30th towards the bottom of the page.
NO COAST FEST – This exciting festival will be held on June 2nd at Westfair Amphitheatre in Council Bluffs, IA. The lineup includes Cage The Elephant, Bleachers, Joywave, Icky Blossoms, Saint Motel, In The Valley Below and others. Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased on etix.com or at Homers in the Old Market. Gates will be open at noon and the show will start around 1 p.m.. Set times will be posted on 897theriver.com soon.Don’t miss out on this exciting event, and put it on your bucket list now.
STANLEY HOTEL MAZE
”The Shining” most people think of the Jack Nicholson movie, but they are disappointed when they visit the Stanley Hotel. The book that started it all was based off of the historic Stanley Hotel, this has made it a popular tourist destination for people visiting Estes Park, CO. But because the Jack Nicholson version was not filmed at the Stanley, visitors often confused by the difference. Visitors most commonly wonder where the giant 8-10 foot maze is. The horror film nerds would give them a long schpeel on how the Jack Nicholson version of “the Shining” was not filmed at the hotel like Stephen King wanted it to be and they took too many liberties when adapting the book and blah, blah, blah. But the Stanley hotel decided to remedy this for their annual horror film festival that was held from April 30 – May 3rd. They installed a 3 foot tall hedge that wraps around the front of the hotel. This hedge maze won’t be there just for the festival, but will be a permanent exhibit for the foreseeable future. Estes Park is about a 9 hour drive from Papillion, but this iconic hedge and the mountain views will be reward enough.
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
The college world series will be at TD Ameritrade stadium in Omaha from June 14 – 25th. It is still fun to go to a game, even if a certain team does not make it in. Baseball is still ‘America’s pastime’, so muster up enough patriotism to get to a game. Even if someone dislikes baseball, they can still have fun walking around the booths set up around the stadium in downtown Omaha or they can find solace in all of the wonderful foods sold in baseball stadiums. People from all over America put this one on their bucket lists, it would be incredibly wasteful to throw away this great opportunity in one’s hometown. Seize your summer, and get to the Old market for the College World Series.