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Papillion Days underway after missed year

The pandemic canceled the popular event in 2020
Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 12:26 PM CDT
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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) - As Omaha plays host to a busy weekend, another hallmark event is underway in Papillion.

Papillion Days was canceled in 2020 because of, you guessed it, the pandemic. But with things looking better in 2021, organizers say it was safe to hold the event for the 74th time.

Throughout the weekend, visitors to Papillion Days can expect all the familiar things from the past. At City Park, the “Market in the Park” is set up where people can go on carnival rides, try tons of different food, buy crafts from artisans, and enjoy different events.

The big fireworks show is Friday night, and the Papillion Days parade kicks off Saturday at 2 p.m. The theme this year is “Honoring Our Journey, Celebrating Our Wings.”

Papillion is also celebrating 150 years this year.

The Executive Director of the Papillion Community Foundation, Laura Schwartz, says Papillion Days is always a fun event, and this year, she hopes it’ll give a big boost to small businesses that struggled during the pandemic.

“Small businesses are just getting back, getting started, we heard from so many vendors yesterday when they checked in that this is the first show they’ve done in over a year and a half. So, that makes me feel really good because we’re supporting them, that’s their livelihood,” said Schwartz.

One of the fan favorites, the beer garden, will not be at Papillion Days this year. The decision was made so that it wouldn’t compete with local bars and restaurants downtown that could use an extra boost in revenue.

Papillion Days is the community foundation’s biggest fundraiser, it helps fund all the programs the foundation heads up. That was one reason Schwartz says she was happy to have it back. Plus, it means a lot to the community.

“It really just brings us together as a community to celebrate small town USA, even though we’re a suburb of Omaha we still have that really great small town feel, so I think that’s what it means, and it just means ‘normal,’” said Schwartz.

Papillion Days runs through Sunday.

You can find a full list of events on the Papillion Days website.

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