Nebraska’s largest city seems like an unlikely place to experience international culture, but holiday seekers in Omaha are thronging to the city this month to attend local cultural festivals. More than 1,000 visitors have arrived in Omaha in December to attend Christmas events celebrating Irish, Mexican, and German cultures. According to the the Omaha Visitors Bureau, Omaha’s holiday events attract tourists from all over the country, including states like California and Texas. The popularity of Omaha’s Christmas activities has inspired tour companies to offer visitors special “Christmas Around the World” tour packages.
To the delight of out-of-towners, the city’s German-American Society hosted its annual Christmas in Germany celebration on December 3. The celebration was held at the society’s headquarters on South 120th Street. Guests enjoyed singing traditional German Christmas carols and watched German folk dancers perform as they consumed German mulled wine and ate German bratwurst. The festivities concluded with a sing-along of “Stille Nacht” and a surprise visit from St. Nicholas.
Visitors also experienced a Christmas in Mexico celebration in the South 24th Street South historic district and traveled to Boys Town for the facility’s Irish Christmas. This celebration of Irish Christmas traditions includes an antique toy display at Father Flanagan’s Historic House in Omaha. Father Flanagan founded the non-profit organization that caters to disadvantaged children and was immortalized in the classic Hollywood film Boys Town, starring Spencer Tracy. The Irish Christmas open house is scheduled to run until December 16.
Other ongoing Christmas events include the Holiday Poinsettia Show at Lauritzen Gardens and the Omaha Symphony’s annual Christmas celebration. Additionally, a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is running at the Omaha Playhouse until December 23.