Kool & the Gang will play this summer’s Memorial Park concert


Kool & the Gang will play at this summer’s concert at Memorial Park.

The 27th annual Bank of the West Celebrates America music concert and fireworks show is free and scheduled for June 30 in the park, located across from the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s main campus.

Kool & the Gang is an American funk and rhythm and blues band that was popular in the 1970s and 1980s. A few of their hits included “Celebration,” “Get Down On It,” “Jungle Boogie” and “Ladies Night”.

Led by brothers Robert “Kool” Bell and Ronald Bell, the band was set to perform the Memorial Park concert in 2008, but that concert was rained out.

“Every summer, people throughout the region look forward to Bank of the West Celebrates America, which has become a tradition to kick off the metro area’s Fourth of July festivities,” said Robert Dalrymple, executive vice president for Bank of the West’s Midwest Division in a press release Thursday. “We are excited to have Kool and the Gang headline our event. We also are delighted to showcase Nebraska’s talented musicians.”

Fireworks from last year’s Bank of the West Celebrates America music concert and fireworks display.

Other notable acts, the Emmett Bower Band and The Confidentials will open the show. Music starts at 6 p.m. with the National Anthem by Tech Sgt. Becky Packard from the USAF Heartland of America Band. A fireworks display will follow the concert at 10 p.m.

“This event is one of the largest free outdoor concerts in America,” Dalrymple said. “It is our annual thank you to our customers and to others in the region who come together for a great evening of music and fireworks to celebrate the meaning behind America’s Fourth of July.”

Proceeds from the sale of plush bears and food and beverages at the concert will benefit the event’s community partner, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.