10 Epic Events to Plan Your Nebraska Vacation Around


Whether you want to kick back and drink local wines or get your heart pumping at a classic American rodeo, Nebraska has annual events that are the perfect centerpiece for any vacation. These 10 one-of-a-kind events only scratch the surface, so see what's in the area and stick around a while!

By The Nebraska Tourism Commission

January 29, 2019


1. Sandhill Crane Migration, Central Nebraska, mid-February to mid-March


More than 600,000 sandhill cranes land on a stretch of the Platte River as they rest and feed before completing their migration. Visitors can book guided tours, indoor viewing experiences, excursion buses and more.


2. Toast Nebraska Wine Festival, Gretna, May 17-18

A two-day summertime celebration of Nebraska wines with tastings of 150 wines, live music, educational sessions, shopping, food, fire pits and yard games.


3. Testicle Festival, Ashland, June 14-15

On Father’s Day weekend, thousands gather for Rocky Mountain oysters, live music and a Ball-Eating Contest.


4. College World Series, Omaha, June 15-26

Hundreds of thousands flood Omaha for 12 days of America’s greatest pastime, plus music and beer gardens surrounding the stadium.


5. 39th Annual Wayne Chicken Show, Wayne, July 12-14

An odd bird of a festival, but even more fun than the chicken dance. Previous years’ events included an egg toss, rubber chicken chuck, cluck-off and all things chicken!


6. Nebraska’s Big Rodeo, Burwell, July 24-27

Experience true cowboy culture with classic rodeo events such as Saddle Broncs and the wild and wooly action of the Wild Horse Race and Canadian Chuck Wagon Races.


7. Nebraska Star Party, Valentine, July 28 - August 2

Experts and newcomers alike gather in awe under the dark skies of Nebraska’s beautiful Sandhills at one of the nation’s premier stargazing events. 


8. Nationals and Old West Balloon Fest, Gering-Scottsbluff-Mitchell, August 13-18

Old West Balloon Fest is Nebraska's premier hot air balloon festival. Experience glow balloons, amazing hot air experiences and much, much more! In 2019, Old West Balloon Fest will be combining its event with the National Hot Air Balloon Championship.


9. Summer Indian Rendezvous, Ogallala, late September 

Ogallala citizens come together in tradition to celebrate their colorful past with live entertainment, dancing, contests and a diverse array of local talents.


10. Applejack Festival, Nebraska City, late September 

One of USA Today’s Top 10 Fall Harvest Festivals with over six craft fairs, a parade, classic car show, live music and three-day carnival.