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Omaha
   by MARY ELISABETH PITZ

The Past Comes Alive

An Omaha tour is a great way to build loyalty because the city has it all - tender, juicy Omaha beef, shopping, theater, outdoor attractions, and exciting new venues along the recently constructed riverfront. At the beginning of the 19th century on July 27, 1804, Lewis and Clark landed where Omaha flourishes today. While these famous explorers dubbed the wilderness area "White Catfish Camp," wiser minds later prevailed and re-named it Omaha. These intrepid explorers arrived in the area, which is between Douglas and Farnam from 6th to 15th Street on Omaha's beautiful riverfront. Today it is identified as the Gene Leahy Mall and Heartland of America Park

Bridging the Gap

Not only will your clients enjoy the official Lewis and Clark landing site, they will see the first pedestrian bridge, called the Missouri River Pedestrian Bridge, which links two states: Nebraska and Iowa. Currently under construction, people will be able to walk across this bridge in the very near future. The Union Pacific Railroad Museum, which opened on May 10, 2003, is the area's newest attraction. Located across the Missouri River in Council Bluffs Iowa, the museum displays 140 years of railroad and America Western history.

Omaha's Entertaining Attractions

What better way to dine than on the River City Star, the city's only restored riverboat that captures the zest that Omaha promised and delivered. Lunch or dinner or just a cruise, boarding the River City Star is a great way to relax and savor the magnificence of the Missouri River from April to November. Visit www.rivercitystar.com or call 866-227-7827. Omaha's famous Henry Doorly Zoo has the largest indoor rain forest and geodesic desert dome in the world; it rivals the world-class quality of the renowned San Diego Zoo. Because Omaha doesn't have the temperate climate of southern California, the zoo offers numerous indoor exhibits that raise the bar for zoos everywhere. The newest and most impressive attraction is the intriguing "Kingdoms of the Night," which opened in April 2003. Located beneath the world's largest indoor desert in the world's largest glazed geodesic dome, this exhibit show the busy lives of more than 75 animal species, including eight varieties of bats, when the daynight cycles are reversed. www.omahazoo.com, 402-733-8401.

All this and More--Top Festivals

From July through August every Thursday night, there is a concert series on the East lawn of the Joslyn Art Museum. August celebrates Arts on the Green at the Joslyn Art Museum and the Omaha Jazz, Blues and Gospel Festival at 30th & Fort Sts. September's annual events are the Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow and the River City Roundup Fair & Festival at the Omaha Convention Center & Arena. October is the Annual American Indian Day/Native Pride Powwow. November features Dickens in the Market in the Old Market and Gingerbread on Parade at the Mormon Trail Center. December's big treat is the Irish Christmas at Father Flanagan's House in Girls and Boys Town. No wonder everybody loves Omaha.

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