Beep. Beep. Honk. Honk.
University of Nebraska at Omaha, get ready.
The “Bank of the West Celebrates America” concert is Friday night at Memorial Park so expect traffic delays. A lot of them.
Since the annual concert and fire work show tends to make midtown traffic somewhat of a nightmare, our campus opens its lots to alleviate the strain a little. Concertgoers can also find additional parking available in the neighborhoods north of the park.
This year’s headline performers — Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Eddie Money — are sure to draw large crowds.
Now in its 25th year, the free Bank of the West celebration has become a favorite summer activity for students. Crowds as large as 80,000 attend the summer concert.
Although the concert begins at 6 p.m., congertgoers stake out their spots on Memorial Park’s grassy hill as early as 5 a.m. They’ll lay blankets, set up chairs and bring baskets and coolers to enjoy music festivities which go until about 10 p.m. Following the concert, organizers provide a fireworks grand finale display.
Be aware that campus parking usually fills by 7 p.m. In addition to surface parking lots, UNO’s multi-level parking garage (University Drive East Parking Structure) will be open after 4 p.m. for overflow.
Event organizers encourage those who park on campus to use the pedestrian overpass when crossing Dodge Street.
Shuttle service between the UNO Dodge and Pacific campuses stops at 6 P.M. during the summer.
Please note: people who park on the Pacific Campus for the concert will not be able to take the shuttle back to their cars after 6 P.M.
ONE-WAY STREETS AND TRAFFIC FLOW
Select streets north of Memorial Park will be designated one-way on Friday.
To ease traffic flow in the neighborhoods near the park, streets north of Underwood Avenue to Western Avenue from Happy Hollow to 66th Street and streets from Western Avenue north to Hamilton Street from 54th Street to 58th Street will be designated one way starting 8 a.m. Friday until the end of the concert event.
Parking will be allowed only on the east side of the streets in this area. This is a safety precaution to ensure that the city’s fire and rescue equipment can get through if necessary.
On the south side of Dodge, there will be no parking on the west side of 53rd, 54th and 55th streets. There also will be no parking along Happy Hollow between Dodge Street and Underwood Avenue. The Omaha Police Department will be directing traffic along Dodge Street during the event. They ask that motorists stay in their lane during the concert event.
STAKING YOUR SPOT
Memorial Park opens at 5 a.m. on Friday for those who want to place blankets in advance of the concert. For the safety of those attending the concert, the City of Omaha prohibits the placement of plastic tarps or stakes in the ground at Memorial Park.
Carpooling to Bank of the West Celebrates America is encouraged. UNO will allow people to use its parking facilities, but people should use the pedestrian overpass when crossing Dodge Street.
25 YEARS OF ROCKING THE PARK
The 25th anniversary of Bank of the West Celebrates America will feature:
– Joan Jett & the Blackhearts: 2015 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, well-known for their number-one rock classic hit, “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll”.
– Eddie Money: Grammy-nominated rock musician known for hits such as “Take Me Home Tonight” and “Think I’m in Love”.
– Bank of the West Celebrates America Opening Band Contest: The opening band is selected by the public via online voting.
– Remembering Our Fallen Exhibit: A special photo exhibit tribute of the more than 80 Nebraskans who lost their lives serving in the Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq—concertgoers will have the opportunity to honor and remember these Nebraskan American heroes.
– Food Bank for the Heartland: Bank of the West’s nine-year partnership with Food Bank for the Heartland continues, inviting the community to help wipe out hunger.
– Fireworks Finale: Bank of the West Celebrates America will culminate with an expanded fireworks finale set to music. The fireworks show will be double the length of past Celebrates America fireworks shows.