Memorial Park (Omaha)
|Area||67 acres (270,000 m2)|
|Operated by||Government of Omaha|
|Status||Open all year|
Memorial Park is a park located at 6005 Underwood Avenue near the Dundee neighborhood of Omaha, Nebraska. The park was created as a memorial for all of the men and women from Douglas County who have served in the armed forces.
Originally proposed by a local citizen in an editorial to the Omaha World-Herald, a group of businessmen and leaders, including Storz Brewery owner Robert H. Storz and the Omaha Zoo namesake Henry Doorly met to discuss a memorial. A site was chosen near Omaha University, where Happy Hollow Club and the Dundee Golf Course were located. The Memorial Park Association was created, and in 1948 it raised funds to create a monument in the park.
On June 5, 1948 President Harry S. Truman dedicated the site. In 1959 the Omaha Rose Society added a rose garden, and in 1990 Woodmen of the World added flagpoles and flags along the driveway coming into memorial park. A pedestrian bridge over Dodge Street called the Memorial Park Pedestrian Bridge was completed in 1968. The park was the site of several anti-Vietnam War protests by youth activists in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
At Memorial Park, there are over 1,000 rose bushes.
On the last Friday in June, there is a concert in the park along with a fireworks show in commemoration of the Independence Day (United States) holiday. Originally, the show was sponsored by Commercial Federal Bank. Later, the event was sponsored by Bank of the West. Currently, the event is called "The City of Omaha Celebrates America." The event attracts over 50,000 people each year to picnic, listen to music and watch an amazing fireworks presentation with friends and family. Many stake out large spots every year, like this patriotic display affectionately referred to as "The World's Largest American Flag Blanket!" Some claim it can be seen from space.
Here are the musical acts who have performed there:
1987 - The Lettermen
1988 - Bobby Vinton
1993 - Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, The Drifters
1994 - Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Bobby Vee
1995 - Frankie Avalon, Sha Na Na
1996 - The Temptations
1997 - The Four Tops, America
1998 - Neil Sedaka, The Shirelles
1999 - Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Drifters
2000 - The Righteous Brothers, The Supremes
2001 - The Beach Boys, Gary Puckett
2002 - Creedence Clearwater Revisited, The Spinners
2003 - The Village People, The Pointers
Also in 2004, 311 played at Memorial Park for free in celebration of Omaha's 150th Anniversary. There were over 40,000 people there to celebrate.
2006 - REO Speedwagon, The Fifth Dimension
2007 - KC & the Sunshine Band, Little River Band
2008 - (rained out) Kool & The Gang, .38 Special
2010 - The Bank of the West Celebrates America concert marked its 20th year in Omaha in 2010 by bringing the national “United In Rock” tour of Foreigner, Styx, and Kansas to the annual free live concert and fireworks show in Memorial Park on Friday, July 2, 2010. Officials estimated attendance reached a record 80,000 attendees.
2012 - Huey Lewis and the News, Mockingbird Sun, Scarlett Drive.
2013 - Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Loverboy
2014 - Smash Mouth, Blues Traveler, Sugar Ray, Uncle Kracker
2015 - Joan Jett, Eddie Money
2016 - Kenny Loggins
2017 - Kool & the Gang
2018 – Starship featuring Marty Balin
2019 – Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul
2020 – (event cancelled due to Covid Pandemic concerns)
2021 – (event scheduled for 8/28/21)
- "City of Omaha parks & Recreation" City of Omaha. Retrieved 3/23/08.
- "Memorial Park Pedestrian Bridge" Archived 2009-05-18 at the Wayback Machine, Omaha Midcentury Modern. Retrieved 3/28/08.
- "Omaha Is on the Alert After 4 Nights of Unrest", The New York Times. July 11, 1971. Retrieved 4/20/08.
-  Archived 2010-12-22 at the Wayback Machine Bank of the west. Retrieved 6/07/10.