A celebration of Nebraska’s LGBT communities, Heartland Pride takes place each year in the state’s largest city, Omaha (population 450,000), which boasts a sizable gay and lesbian community that has continued to increase its visibility in recent years. years. The gathering also draws many members of the LGBT community to nearby Nebraska’s capital city Lincoln (pop. 275,000), which has quite a vibrant progressive and arts scene, thanks to it being home to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln is just an hour drive from Omaha.
And the Heartland Parade portion of the weekend actually takes place just across the border from Omaha in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Heartland Pride, which includes a festival and parade, takes place in late June, this year’s date is June 25, 2016.
The Heartland Pride celebration consists of a series of events that take place during the preceding days, including a boat trip on the Pride River on Friday, June 17, and the Pride royalty contest on June 19. Then on Friday night, June 24, there is a Youth Pride Festival, at Stinson Park in the village of Aksarben, starting at 6pm. You can see a list of events here.
Heartland Pride’s big day is Saturday, June 25, with the Heartland Pride Parade departing in Council Bluffs, Iowa, just east of Omaha, at 10 a.m. from 9th and Main, moving north on Main, curving Pearl Street. , circling the fountain on West Broadway, and heading south on Main and then 4th Street back to 9th Avenue, here’s a map of the Heartland Pride Parade route.
Then, back at Stinson Park in Omaha, the Pride Festival begins at 11 a.m. and lasts all day, until 10 p.m., and includes performances by various artists.
Omaha Gay Resources
As long as you’re in the area, good bets for gay nightlife in Omaha, by the way, mostly take place in the historic and trendy Old Market neighborhood and include The Max dance club (1417 Jackson St., 402-346- 4110), and the Flixx Omaha video and entertainment bar (1015 S. 10th St., 402-408-1020).
Local LGBT friendly outlets worth checking out include Alternative Arts and Culture Weekly. The Reader is a sponsor of Heartland Pride and a helpful resource for the gay community; Additionally, Omaha Beat and Lincoln Beat are nightlife arts and dining websites that have some coverage of the LGBT community. The Visit Omaha website is also worth checking out, which has lots of information on how to travel and spend time in the city. The Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau is also helpful, if you spend time there.