CASE STUDY

City of Omaha Celebrates America

OBJECTIVE

Host a huge, all-are-welcome, family-friendly concert featuring at least one National performer and one of the region’s largest firework shows in Memorial Park.

STRATEGY

Work closely with a team that includes multiple City of Omaha departments, local philanthropists, a production company, and the Omaha Parks Foundation

This 30+ year tradition risked cancellation for lack of funding in 2019. VGA was brought in to save the event in mid-April of 2019 and the full-scale event took place, on schedule, at the end of June.

Even though VGA received no official files or information from the prior event organizers, the team jumped in and, thanks to help from city employees, the stage production team, and vendors, were able to quickly get to work.

Not only was the event saved, but VGA documented the process through timeline, file & template development, as well as careful archiving of information to ensure that the event will be able to continue no matter who manages it in the future.

A full marketing plan was developed including the event’s first-ever, stand-alone social media presence; the event had previously lived as an afterthought on corporate sponsor web and social sites. In 2021, VGA created a program to showcase local bands during the day long festivities. The program allows groups to submit existing videos or to apply for studio space to create first-time videos. 

Since VGA took over management, the City of Omaha Celebrates America Concert & Fireworks (often referred to locally as “The Memorial Park Concert”) has featured national talent including: Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Wyclef Jean, Dave Mason, Chris Isaak and Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul. The end-of-show fireworks have also grown to be one of the largest displays in the Midwest.

“Vic Gutman & Associates was the perfect firm to help us save the annual kick-off to summer ‘City of Omaha Celebrates America’ event. We went from almost having to permanently cancel the event to having the 2019 celebration be bigger and better than ever before.”
Jean Stothert, Mayor City of Omaha