Minions, music and celebrations cap great weekend in Omaha

Omaha skyline

Music, art, Italiana and even minions highlighted our weekend.

We had a busy schedule this weekend with all the events taking place near downtown Omaha.

Omaha Summer Arts Festival

The 40th Summer Arts Festival featured artists from all over the United States. The Santa Lucia Festival celebrated its 90th year with a fiesta on the Missouri River landing. Sand in the City held its annual sand castle contest near the Century Link Arena.

Carnival at Santa Lucia Festival

We started our weekend with a concert in Council Bluffs featuring acts from the 1970s and ‘80s – Rick Springfield, Eddie Money and Little River Band.

Rick Springfield concert

Saturday, we drove to Tekamah and picked up our niece Kaelin. The 13-year-old is visiting from Evansville, IN. She heads home next week, so we brought her back to Omaha to take in the Summer Arts Festival.

We have spent the last couple art festivals with her when she visits the grandparents.

We had a great time with her, checking out the art in downtown Omaha. Kaelin is a budding artist, and we are quite impressed with her interest and knowledge of the field.

She found herself attached to a pencil drawing of what appeared to be a ghost (to me, anyway). The piece was “only” $250. We asked the artist if she had a smaller print, thinking we could help Kaelin buy it. Nope. The only copy she had was the full-sized one. We love Kaelin, but…

art sculptures

Moving along, we checked out other vendors, including artists using bronze, glass, as well as photography.

One vendor had a “transformer” piece on sale for only a few hundred dollars.

Junk turned into art

Lisa fell in love with a colorful piece of artwork that would take up a wall. I checked the price – $15,000. I love Lisa, but…

basket art

We caught a band performing on the street. “House on Cliff” sang some classic tunes with great harmony.

House on the Cliff band

Kaelin really took to a street performer’s act. The guy was from Philadelphia.

He could contort his body to wrap his leg and ankle around half his body.

street performer

He even managed to fit his body through a toilet seat, picture frame and a tennis racket. Amazing!

I took an interest in a blacksmith tent. The flames were very hot. He worked his hammer on a piece of art while we watched.


I took a picture of a hat at a tent. A few minutes later, I saw a woman wearing it down the street.

Cool hat

With the College World Series starting in Omaha later this week, the visitor’s center was a nice baseball-themed decoration near the entrance.

baseball and peanuts

With our visit to the arts festival done, we made our way to the Sand in the City exhibit area.

Mr. Peabody made of sand

As with most seasons, the sand artists relied on cartoon characters for inspiration – Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Legos, Madagascar penguins, and, of course, minions.

Minions made of sand

My favorite was Godzilla attacking Omaha. It was a different take on using the city skyline for design inspiration.

Godzilla in the sand

With the day’s events winding down for us, we headed back to Tekamah to drop off the kid. LOL.

Lisa and I were discussing what to do on Sunday once we finished some yard chores.

She’d never been to the Santa Lucia Festival. I hadn’t been to one for quite some time. So, we headed down to the river’s landing area.

Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge

It was a nice day for a walk. We had to park about half a mile away.

The festival had plenty of Italian food and carnival rides.

The festival’s arch made its first appearance in several years. It had been banned by the city due to safety concerns, but changes were made to it.

Santa Lucia festival

We took in a game of bocce ball during our visit.

bocce ball

After enjoying a nice weekend of events, we thought it would be relaxing to take a quiet walk at Fontenelle Forest. Since we arrived late in the day, there were few visitors. We could hear the birds singing their songs. Ah, nature.

Fontenelle Forest

So, from a concert to a walk in the woods, we enjoyed a great weekend. I hope everyone did, too.