Heartland Gay Pride 2016 - Omaha Gay Pride 2016 - Nebraska Gay Pride 2016

Celebrating Gay Pride in Nebraska's largest city as well as Council Bluffs, IA

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••• Omaha's Old Market district is home to several popular gay bars that are particularly busy during Nebraska's Heartland Gay Pride, held in June. photo by Andrew Collins

A celebration of the LGBT communities throughout Nebraska, Heartland Pride takes place each year in the state's largest city, Omaha (pop. 450,000), which has a sizable gay and lesbian community that has continued to grow in visibility in recent years. The gathering also draws many members of the LGBT community in the nearby capital city of Nebraska, Lincoln (pop. 275,000), which has a quite vibrant arts and progressive scene, thanks to it being home of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln is just an hour's drive from Omaha.

And the Heartland Parade portion of the weekend actually takes place just over the border from Omaha in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Heartland Pride, which includes a festival and parade, takes place in late June - the date this year is June 25, 2016.

The Heartland Pride celebration consists of a number of events taking place during the preceding days, including a Pride River Boat Ride on Friday, June 17, and the Pride Royalty Pageant on June 19. Then on Friday night, June 24, there's a Youth Pride Festival, at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village, from 6 pm on. You can view a list of events here.

The big day of Heartland Pride is Saturday, June 25, with the Heartland Pride Parade stepping off in Council Bluffs, Iowa - just east of Omaha - at 10 am from 9th and Main, proceeding north on Main, curving up Pearl Street, looping around the fountain at West Broadway, and returning south back down Main and then 4th Street back to 9th Avenue - here's a map of the Heartland Pride Parade route.

Then back in Stinson Park in Omaha, the Pride Festival begins at 11 am and runs throughout the day, until 10 pm, and it includes performances by a number of artists.

Omaha Gay Resources

While you're in the area, good bets for gay nightlife in Omaha, by the way, are mostly in the historic and hip Old Market neighborhood and include The Max (1417 Jackson St., 402-346-4110) dance club, and the video and show bar Flixx Omaha (1015 S.

10th St., 402-408-1020).

Local LGBT-friendly media worth taking a look at include the alternative arts and culture newsweekly The Reader is a sponsor of Heartland Pride and a very helpful resource for the gay community; also, Omaha Beat and Lincoln Beat are mainstream nightlife-dining-arts websites that do have some coverage of the LGBT community. It's also worth having a look at the Visit Omaha website, which has plenty of information on traveling to and spending time in the city. The Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau is also helpful, if you're spending time there.