150! Omaha’s Birthday Celebration


Creating a series of anchor events to commemorate and celebrate Omaha’s 150th anniversary


Partnering with the City of Omaha and the event chairman to fundraise, manage key events and support the entire continuum of special programming with a comprehensive marketing campaign


Attracting attendance of as many as 200,000 at events comprising the pinnacle Birthday Festival weekend and sustaining momentum through hundreds of events around the city throughout the year

In five months, working with the City of Omaha and Bruce Lauritzen, president of First National Bank and the event’s chairman, VGA created and implemented a series of anchor events to celebrate the 150th birthday of the city.

150-Content-ImageThe year-long celebration culminated with the 15O! Omaha’s Birthday Festival weekend held in July 2004. Weekend highlights included Omaha’s own 311 performing for more than 30,000 concertgoers at Memorial Park and a downtown concert featuring the Omaha Symphony followed by fireworks for the crowd of more than 50,000. The riverfront fireworks display was launched from three separate sites and was the largest of its kind to date.

A crowd of 5,000 gathered at the 15O! Family Festival to participate in a variety of programs celebrating Omaha’s history and to enjoy a slice of a 1,350-square-foot birthday cake. Several months later, Omaha 15O! concluded with a free concert at Qwest Center Omaha featuring the United States Air Force’s Heartland of America Band.

In addition to managing the key 15O! events, VGA developed a local and regional umbrella marketing campaign to promote the anchor events and the hundreds of Omaha 150! activities held throughout the year at venues across the city.