Avast, me hearties: Pirate Festival this weekend

The seventh annual Midlands Pirate Festival will return Saturday and Sunday to the Bellevue Berry and Pumpkin Ranch, 11001 S. 48th St. in Papillion. Festival hours will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The festival will focus on fun and fact with a mix of comedic storybook characters and historic presentations, food, beverages, bazaar and artisan marketplace.

Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for kids ages 3 to 13 and free for younger children. An adult two-day admission is $15. Parking is free. Discounted tickets are available at Offutt Air Force Base, Fairy Tale Costumes in Omaha’s Crossroads Mall and at the Penguin Pitstop in Lincoln. Online purchases can be made at midlandspiratefest-es2.eventbrite.com/.

The event will include an after-hours tavern sing-along from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, with free admission after 6 that evening.

For event details, visit midlandspiratefest.com, email greg@festint.com or call 641-357-5177.

Real-life heroes to speak Thursday at public event

“Leaders-Heroes-Role Models: The American Way” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Elkhorn South High School, 20303 Blue Sage Parkway. The event is free and open to the public, presented by Patriotic Productions.

One of the speakers will be Staff Sgt. Bobby Henline, now a stand-up comedian and motivational speaker, who was burned over 38 percent of his body in 2007 in Iraq when his Humvee blew up, killing four comrades. His sense of humor has helped him recover.

The other will be Staff Sgt. Tim Chambers. He has been recognized by the secretary of the Navy for rushing into the Pentagon when it was attacked on 9/11. Their talks will be available on demand at Omaha.com beginning Friday.

‘Bridges of Hope’ workshop on impact of mental illness

The “Bridges of Hope” workshop will be offered free from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Countryside Community Church Chapel, 8787 Pacific St.

It is a presentation and panel discussion on mental illness and its impact on individuals, families and communities. Mental illness affects the lives of at least one in four adults and one in 10 children in the U.S.

Bridges of Hope is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Nancy Kelley-Gillespie — associate professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Grace Abbott School of Social Work, board member for NAMI-NE and Countryside member — will facilitate.

To attend, contact Margie Bolte at 402-391-0350, ext. 117, or email her at margieb@countrysideucc.org.

Permaculture techniques showcased in garden

Join the Sierra Club at 7 p.m. Thursday to see how a crushed-gravel parking lot was transformed into a fertile and productive garden using permaculture techniques. Permaculture emphasizes a sustainable way of living.

The tour will take place at Gustave von Roenn’s garden, which incorporates many permaculture design features. The garden is behind his studio, Paparazzi by Appointment, in the Benson neighborhood at 4871 Northwest Radial. There is street parking on 49th.

Compiled by Sue Story Truax

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