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Omaha, NE (Population: 424,988)

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska, with an estimated population of 424,988 (2005) after annexing the smaller City of Elkhorn. It is located on the eastern edge of Nebraska on the Missouri River, about 20 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River. Omaha has a rich cultural and historical legacy beginning with the pre-European history of the Pawnee, Otoe, Lakota, Nakota, Dakota, Otoe, Missouri, and Ioway peoples. The name "Omaha" is a combination of indigenous translations of U-Mo'n-Ho'n, which means "Dwellers on the Bluff."

Omaha contains diverse historical neighborhoods and suburbs that reflect its socioeconomic diversity. The early establishment of ethnic neighborhoods along with successful efforts to revitalize these areas have proven beneficial to its cultural and economic success. Some of these efforts include the development of the Old Market and the support of institutions like the Durham Western Heritage Museum, the Joslyn Art Museum, the Holland Performing Arts Center, and the Omaha Community Playhouse. Local events also celebrate Omaha's ancient and recent inhabitants with the Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow, the Omaha Blues, Jazz, & Gospel Festival, and Florence Days.

Omaha is the smallest city in the United States to have two major research hospitals - the University of Nebraska Medical Center, a world renowned cancer treatment and transplant center, and Creighton University Medical Center. The area is home to many upstanding health care facilities. Several industries in the area provide Omaha with economic stability, such as ConAgra Foods, Mutual of Omaha, The Gallup Organization, and Buerkshire Hathaway. The Old Market, part of the former "Jobbers Canyon," includes fruit markets, warehouses, and other agricultural and industrial buildings. It is home to a number of shops, restaurants, bars, and art galleries.

Omaha communities and visitors support local musicians that call the area home like the Omaha Symphony, the Opera Omaha, Mannheim Steamroller, Bright Eyes, The Faint, Cursive, Azure Ray, Tilly and the Wall, 311, and the late indie-folk singer/songwriter Elliott Smith. The Joslyn Art Museum has significant art collections, particularly of Native American art and art works relating to the early European exploration of western North America. The city is also home to the states only residential professional ballet company, the Omaha Theater Ballet.