Memorial Park (Omaha)

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Memorial Park
Memorial-park.jpg
Memorial Park, looking north
TypeCity park
LocationOmaha, Nebraska
Coordinates41°15′45″N 96°00′05″W / 41.26250°N 96.00139°W / 41.26250; -96.00139Coordinates: 41°15′45″N 96°00′05″W / 41.26250°N 96.00139°W / 41.26250; -96.00139
Area67 acres (270,000 m2)
Created1948
Operated byGovernment of Omaha
StatusOpen 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.

History[edit]

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.[1] A pedestrian bridge over Dodge Street called the Memorial Park Pedestrian Bridge was completed in 1968.[2] The park was the site of several anti-Vietnam War protests by youth activists in the late 1960s and early 1970s.[3]

At Memorial Park, there are over 1,000 rose bushes.

Events[edit]

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

2004 - (rained out) The Doobie Brothers, Three Dog Night

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.

2005 - The Doobie Brothers, Three Dog Night, Mulberry Lane

2006 - REO Speedwagon, The Fifth Dimension

2007 - KC & the Sunshine Band, Little River Band

2008 - (rained out) Kool & The Gang, .38 Special

2009 - The Guess Who, Grand Funk Railroad

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.[4]

2011 - Cheap Trick, .38 Special, Take Me to Vegas. The stage moved (permanently) to the Dodge Street side of the Park for the 2011 concert.

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)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "City of Omaha parks & Recreation" City of Omaha. Retrieved 3/23/08.
  2. ^ "Memorial Park Pedestrian Bridge" Archived 2009-05-18 at the Wayback Machine, Omaha Midcentury Modern. Retrieved 3/28/08.
  3. ^ "Omaha Is on the Alert After 4 Nights of Unrest", The New York Times. July 11, 1971. Retrieved 4/20/08.
  4. ^ [1] Archived 2010-12-22 at the Wayback Machine Bank of the west. Retrieved 6/07/10.