City plans annual Uncle Sam Jam - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

City plans annual Uncle Sam Jam

Posted: Updated: June 13, 2013 05:25 PM CDT

By: Hannah Paczkowski

Fireworks, bingo, and canoeing; all part of Lincoln's Independence Day celebration, The Uncle Sam Jam.

Mayor Chris Beutler says having it on the third improves attendance.

"We try to have it on days that are more efficient from the point of view of city government, but we also blend that in with what's going on in the rest of the community," he said.

The event will once again be out at Oak Lake Park. Food and concession sales along with activities are all slated to begin at 3 PM, you're encouraged to arrive early.

"It's a great family event and feel like our products we converted with families and entertainment that goes on in our city and we just ask that families go out, enjoy themselves and have a good time," Pepsi Cola representative Steve Ford said.

The fireworks show will take place after dark, and this year there will be something new, a brass band playing before and during the show.

"It's so great to see another touch of class added to the city repertoire of alternatives and offerings to the city," Mayor Beutler said.

Though these Independence Day traditions aren't celebrated on the Fourth of July, the city will still celebrate its patriotism.

"People seem to feel good about it, they seem to be alright with changing from the 4th of July to a slightly different time," Mayor Beutler said.

Fireworks will begin at 10 p.m.

Additional info:

The Lincoln Saltdogs will play the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks at Haymarket Park at 6:05 p.m.  July 3.  The Saltdogs and Redhawks also will play the next two nights at 7:05 p.m. with post-game fireworks displays.   Limited Uncle Sam Jam parking will be available at the Haymarket Park complex after 8:30 p.m. on July 3.

Ample parking is available at Oak Lake Park.  The public is encouraged to arrive early to avoid traffic delays. A $3 event parking fee will be offered beginning at 1 p.m. at Haymarket Garage, 9th and "Q" streets.   StarTran will provide free public shuttle bus service from 5 to 11 p.m. between the main entrance at Oak Lake Park and these locations:    

•   Haymarket Parking Garage, 9th and "Q"

•   Gold's bus stop, 11th and "O"

•   County-City building complex - northeast corner of 9th and "H" and southeast corner of 9th and "K" (Free parking is available in two lots – one bounded by 9th, 10th, "G" and "H" and one bounded by 9th, 10th, "K" and "L".) 

Handi-Van service is available for those eligible, and reservations can be made through the normal procedure by calling StarTran at 402-441-7109.

In case of inclement weather, the fireworks display, musical performances and the accompanying radio broadcasts will be rescheduled to Friday, July 5, and food vendors will be available.  No other events or activities will be rescheduled.

The Trinkle Brass Works is a brass and percussion ensemble led by Steven Trinkle, one of the greatest classical trumpeters in the U.S.  He has performed as a member of the Kansas City Symphony, Houston Symphony and Turin (Italy) Radio Symphony and is the founder of an international trumpet festival.   He also has directed orchestras throughout the U.S., South America and Europe and is currently on the faculty of UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The group's Uncle Sam Jam appearance is sponsored by Farmer's Mutual of Nebraska.   The Meadowlark Music Festival includes two other events:

•    Double bassist Francois Rabbath – 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 5 at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 1144 "M" (If the Uncle Sam Jam is delayed, this concert will be postponed to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 6 at Kimball Recital Hall, UNL.)

•    Pianist Anthony Molinaro –  3 p.m. Saturday, July 6 at Kimball Recital Hall, UNL

More information is available at

Fireworks other than those used in the Zambelli show are prohibited in the park during the celebration.  Fireworks are prohibited in all City parks at all times.  City ordinance allows the sale and use of permissible fireworks in the City only from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 3 and from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. July 4 of each year.

Attendees are reminded that Lincoln City parks are now tobacco-free.  City policy prohibits use of any form of tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chew or dip in any park areas or facilities designated as tobacco-free.

The Red Cross will have first aid available.  Alcohol and personal water craft are prohibited in the park.  All pets are required to wear a leash in the park, and residents are discouraged from bringing pets to the park during the fireworks display. 

To get more information on parking and activities, visit keyword: Uncle Sam Jam.

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