Omaha, Neb. – The community is invited to enjoy a rousing, free concert and the largest fireworks display ever staged in Turner Park – celebrating the Navy’s newest combat ship, the USS Omaha.
A Salute to the USS Omaha will be held Sunday, September 16, starting at 7:30 p.m. with the music of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Maverick Marching Band under the direction of Director of Athletic Bands Dr. Joshua Kearney, and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Karen Fannin, UNO’s Director of Bands.
Omaha favorite Billy McGuigan will join the UNO musicians to add his own style to the evening’s patriotic music. McGuigan, who has performed his “Rave On” and “Yesterday & Today” shows locally and across the country, most recently appeared in the sold out run of “Billy McGuigan’s Rock Twist” at the Omaha Community Playhouse.
Emcee for the evening will be KETV NewsWatch 7 Anchor David Earl.
Six members of the USS Omaha crew, visiting from the ship’s homeport of San Diego, and Ship’s Sponsor Susie Buffett will be special guests at the concert. Buffett christened the USS Omaha in December 2015 in Mobile, Alabama with the traditional breaking of a bottle of champagne across its bow. This past February, she and approximately 300 other Nebraskans traveled to San Diego for the ship’s commissioning, putting the ship into service by giving the crew the traditional order to “man our ship and bring her to life”.
“The commissioning of the USS Omaha is a real source of pride for our city. This concert is our chance to come together and celebrate as a community, and to thank the brave men and women serving aboard the USS Omaha for safeguarding our nation,” said Captain Rick Holdcroft, USN, Ret., vice president of the Navy League of the United States, Nebraska Council and the chairman of the USS Omaha commissioning committee.
“It’s a pleasure to bring this citywide celebration to Turner Park. This is going to be a spectacular tribute worthy of the USS Omaha and its crew,” says Molly Skold, Midtown Crossing’s vice-president of marketing and communications.
High-tech, fast and futuristic-looking, the USS Omaha is a 418-foot littoral combat ship built to operate near shore in the shallow waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It continues a proud tradition as the U.S. Navy’s fourth Omaha-named warship. The first was a propeller-driven sloop-of-war; the second ship, a light cruiser; and the third Omaha, an attack submarine.
The evening of the Salute, Turner Park will open at 5 p.m. Several Midtown Crossing restaurants will be on-site with dinners, drinks and desserts for purchase. As an added convenience, the Midtown Crossing parking garages will be free from 5-11 p.m. for the Salute to the USS Omaha concert only.
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