Septemberfest cancels 2020 Labor Day celebration


Zach Gilbert

Guests ride an attraction at a former Septemberfest celebration. Photo courtesy of Septemberfest Omaha.

After 43 consecutive years of celebrating the largest inner-city event in Omaha within a 500-mile radius, Omaha’s annual Labor Day celebration, Septemberfest, has been canceled.

Septemberfest 2020 was scheduled to take place between Sept. 4-7 of this year. However, due to concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers sought to prioritize the safety and well-being of the public and postpone the next celebration to 2021.

“We are heartbroken that we can’t offer this family-friendly event this year,” said Terry Moore, Chairman of Septemberfest, Inc. “Though we were working with public health officials to open in a responsible manner, we just felt the risk for our volunteers and to members of the public were too high to justify holding the event.”

This update comes after Septemberfest  canceled their Labor Day parade in July due to similar concerns about COVID-19. According to the organization’s press release, the parade placed too many people in a confined space at one time, as they predicted that 7,500 people would walk in the parade and 35,000 would attend.

The event of Septemberfest has been a state tradition for over 40 years, offering family entertainment, fresh food and music talent over the course of four days in early September. The celebration draws visitors from all around Nebraska, but also from surrounding states such as Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and North Dakota. Proceeds from Septemberfest traditionally fund an array of community improvement projects such as Potter House, the Omaha Area Food Bank and the Salvation Army.

Moore maintains that, if all goes as planned, Septemberfest 2021 will be an event for the ages.

“We had new features and attractions planned for this year, but most of those have already agreed to return in 2021,” Moore said. “We’ll be back, and we’ll be bigger and better than ever.”