06.02.2011 / Mark your Calendars for the 2011 Omaha Summer Arts Festival!

You know its summertime when you venture to downtown Omaha to see art, music and taste great food at the Summer Arts Festival. This year, the 37th Annual Summer Arts Festival will be held on June 10 through 12th. There will be artist galleries, live demonstrations, bands and lots of stuff for the kids to do at the Childrens Fair.

""This year the 37th Annual Summer Arts Festival will be held on June 10th - 12th.""

The heart of every Summer Arts Festival is the Artist’s Market – featuring the work of 135 handpicked artists. From ceramics to fiber, painting and sculpture, as well as a variety of mixed media there is something that will appeal to many tastes and budgets.  To see a preview of the participating artists this year, visit the Artist’s Gallery at the official Summer Arts Festival site.

For music lovers, there’s the World Music Stage, with non-stop performances all weekend. This year’s line-up includes legendary blues ambassador Zac Harmon followed by the raucous Punjabi sound of headliner Red Baraat on Friday night.  Based in New York City, Red Baraat has created a sensation with its powerful sound which blends traditional Punjabi instruments, percussion and horns.  Known for its blistering stage performances, this band will undoubtedly have the crowd on its feet throughout their high-energy and unforgettable performance.

Saturday’s schedule kicks off with the Jazz Explosion followed by the Celtic stylings of the Colerick-Corbett Band; Lipbone Redding aka the “Human Sweet Box” and bluegrass artists Mountain Standard Time.  The evening’s headliner is Lil Brian & The Travelers, hailed as the undisputed masters of East Texas Zydeco. On Sunday, Crossfire will open the stage followed by Festival mainstay Luigi Inc. and the Afro-Caribbean salsa of Orquesta Alto Maiz.

If you plan on bringing the kids, there is plenty for them to do too! The Children’s Fair is held on Saturday and Sunday, and this year’s theme is A blend of art, science and natural history, “Art-Ecology: Can You Dig It?”  Presented at the heart of the Festival at 11th and Farnam Streets, the Children’s Fair will offer dozens of hands-on activities and art projects for children ages three to 10.

Admission for the Children’s Fair, all of the stage entertainment and several activities are free.  The remaining hands-on crafts and other activities each cost two to four 50-cent tickets.

New this year, the Friends of the Omaha Public Library will be selling books in front of W. Dale Clark Library.  On Saturday and Sunday, Festival-goers are encouraged to peruse their vast inventory which will be offered at great prices.

The Omaha Summer Arts Festival has been named Omaha’s Best Annual Festival, one of the Top 100 Fine Arts Festivals in the country by ArtFair SourceBook and one of 2007’s Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association. 

The 37th Annual Omaha Summer Arts Festival is presented by First National Bank.  For additional information about the event including downloadable images and schedules, please visit

Planning on going?  Have a favorite artist or band? Think of something you’d like to see next year? Share your thoughts with us via a comment!

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