ABA 2023 Convention - Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha - Westward Ho, ABA !!!

Sunday, June 25, 2023 — Friday, June 30, 2023

 Marriott Regency Hotel 

10220 Regency Circle
Omaha, NE 68114

Marriott Registration for ABA Members

IMPORTANT – You MUST use the above phone number or links to register for the ABA rates.

Room Rate includes free breakfast for 1 – 4 guests/room                   

$135 (Single King /2 Double beds) (maximum 4 guests/room)

  • Same group rate 3 days pre/post convention depending on availability            (Contact Alan Burgdorf, 573-445-5703, for instructions to add additional days)

• 300 rooms (King or 2 Double Beds)                                                                                                         (King step-in shower; Double tub shower)

• Handicap rooms available (Call Alan first – see below)
• Flat Screen TV and Free Wifi
• Digital plug-in panels
• 24-Hour Fitness Center
• Coffee Maker and Mini Refrigerator
• Indoor/Outdoor Pool
• Private Dining for ABA Breakfast
• 15% discount for attendees at restaurant & bar

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Would sharing a hotel room make it easier to attend convention?                                   To be paired with another member contact:                                                                                        Kathleen Collins  (724) 295-9623   or  kathleenrcollins@yahoo.com  _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Handicap Rooms

Handicap Rooms are limited.  Register Early

DO NOT contact the hotel for handicap rooms

Contact Alan Burgdorf



We are always limited by the number and type of handicap rooms, and we want to make sure they go to the persons who most need them.

Airport Transportation – Eppley Airfield (OMA)

• Eleven miles from hotel (no hotel shuttle).
• Ride App Pickup Area for Uber/Lyft is located on the Ground Floor of the South Garage, access via the North Skywalk or the crosswalk near Door 4.
• Members with disabilities using ride app services are permitted to use the inner vehicle terminal curb side for pickup and drop-off.
• Taxis are located on the center island, press the Taxi Call button to dispatch a vehicle to the location.


  Come early, Stay Late

Bring the kids/grandkids

Things to see near Omaha


Download Omaha’s Saving Pack to get discounts to several attractions.

Omaha Badge Program  A list of stores, restaurants and entertainment that offers discounts when you show your convention badge.

Download the Penny Pack that gives you “Buy 1 Get 1 for a Penny” coupons at 13 featured breweries. Plus, get a free souvenir flight glass at the Omaha Visitors Center.


The Douglas County Health Depart reports a low level of Covid-19 transmission in the county.  To view the health department’s current threat assessment, please visit https://www.douglascountyhealth.com/ 


Omaha Children’s Museum

Get ready for the whole family to learn through play! Omaha Children’s Museum is the most visited museum in Nebraska and features outstanding interactive permanent exhibits focused on art, science and early childhood education. Exhibits include giant ball machines, a kid-sized grocery store, tire and auto service center, science and technology lab, maker-space, art studio and much more!  Open Tues – Fri 9 – 4. 500 South 20th St., Omaha (402) 342-6164    $15 Adults, $5 Kids

Special Exhibit – Opens May 27, 2023                                                                                                                                                                       Jurassic Nebraska                                                                                                                                                                                                       Experience what life would be like if dinosaurs were around in our everyday life; toss a football in Memorial Stadium against some ferocious defenders or take a kayak tour on the Missouri River as dinos look on from the Bob Kerrey Bridge. Explore and discover fossils in a giant dig pit and climb Chimney Rock to look a T-Rex in the eye!

Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Located on 160 acres means families run wild so animals across the globe can run free. Walk through the world’s largest indoor desert and the largest indoor rainforest in North America. Explore exotic locations and underground caves to see thousands of animals from across the globe in their natural habitat. More than seven acres of indoor exhibits. Other ways of getting around the zoo outside are train, tram, skyfari aerial tram, and golf cart tours. General Admission $28.95

Download the Zoo’s Free App.  You will get lots of information including a GPS map, info on animal encounters and notifications.  Click this link to see how this can enhance your zoo experience and then download the app onto your mobile devise. https://www.omahazoo.com/mobile-app

Omaha’s Old Market

The Old Market is a neighborhood located in downtown Omaha bordered by South 10th Street to the east, 13th Street to the west, Farnam Street to the north and Jackson Street to the South. The neighborhood has many restaurants, art galleries and upscale shopping

The neighborhood has a rich history of arts and culture with a most vibrant collection of working artists and galleries. There are many unique shops and over 45 restaurants and places to get a drink.

Omaha Old Market


Joslyn Castle

In 1903, George and Sarah Joslyn completed one of Nebraska’s greatest homes—a 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion atop a hill on Omaha’s outskirts. The four-story house includes a reception hall, music room, ballroom, a library, and gold drawing room. The house totals 19,360 square feet. The castle is an Omaha Landmark Historic Structure and on the National Register of Historic Places for national significance. The grounds are part of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. Call for information, 402-595-1415. Open only for tours.

Durham Museum

Beautiful architecture blends with memories of a time gone by at the historic Durham Museum. Considered one of Omaha’s most unique treasures, Union Station was built in 1931 by Union Pacific Railroad as the showpiece to the city of its headquarters. The station is one of the best examples of art deco architecture in the country. It offers unique, hands-on learning for people of all ages. Enjoy an extraordinary array of permanent exhibits including restored train cars and bell, 1940’s storefronts, HO Model trains, numerous artifacts showing the history of the region and the Byron Reed collection, which includes some of the world’s rarest coins and documents. During your stay be sure to stop by the authentic soda fountain and enjoy a phosphate or malt.  Open Tues – Sat 10 – 4, Sun 12 – 4. 801 South 10th St. Omaha  (402) 444-5071.  Adult $13, Senior $10, Child $7.   Free parking and wheelchairs.


Kenefick Park 

Two of the greatest locomotives ever to power Union Pacific Railroad sit at the southwest point of the Lauritzen Gardens property. On grand display are Centennial No. 6900, the largest and most powerful diesel-electric locomotive ever built, and Big Boy No. 4023, the world’s largest steam locomotive.

Featuring several plazas, seating areas, a grand staircase, “canyon” stone walls, interpretive signage, sculpture and walkways, the park documents Union Pacific Railroad’s role in the development of Omaha and the West.

Located at 100 Bancroft St, Omaha. Open Daily 9-5, 402-733-8401. Use walkway from Lauritzen Gardens parking lot. FREE Admission.

Lauritzen Gardens

Lauritzen Gardens, adjacent to Kenefick Park, is a living museum of unique four-season plant displays, maintained to the highest standards consistent with environmental stewardship. It provides memorable educational and aesthetic experiences for all.  Discover this hidden sanctuary in the heart of the city.

Open since October 2001, the 32,000-square-foot visitor and education center includes a 5,000-square-foot floral display hall with a vaulted glass roof. The visitor center has a café and gift shop.

The garden is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. TWILIGHT HOURS WILL RESUME on May 9, 2022 when the garden will be open until 8 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday evenings.

Narrated tram tours are offered daily. ($5)

Entrance to the Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory is included in the regular price of admission.  The Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory closes at 3 p.m. every Wednesday

Tickets are $15 and can be ordered online.


Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

The bridge is a 3000-ft long walking bridge connecting Council Bluffs, Iowa to Omaha’s Riverfront, just north of Downtown. The bridge is an s-curved cable-stayed bridge with a striking, modern design, perfect for a midday stroll or a nighttime walk when the multi-colored lights are turned on, and spiders spin impossibly long webs between the bridges many cables.  Locals call him Bob. Standing on Bob’s state line and taking a photo is called “Bobbing.”

Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum

The Strategic Air Command (SAC) and Aerospace Museum, located between Lincoln and Omaha near Interstate 80, utilizes over 300,000 square feet of exhibit, education, and event space to educate, inspire, and entertain its guests. The museum first opened in 1959 with the mission to commemorate the aircraft of the Strategic Air Command. The museum became well known by allowing the public to visit an impressive array of aircraft that helped SAC preserve the peace during the Cold War.
The SAC story is about scientific exploration, technological innovation, and a genuine commitment to Americans’ rigorous education and training to preserve our nation’s security and enhance its prosperity. Temporary exhibits, permanent exhibits, and a variety of special events will provide additional unique experiences for the museum’s members and visitors. Daily 9-5, $12 seniors/$16 adults/person, 402-944-3100.


Dundee-Happy Hollow Historic District

The Dundee/Happy Hallow Historic District contains over 2,000 historic properties. The neighborhoods were developed in 1880 and has been dubbed Omaha’s first suburb. The district’s homes and commercial structures represent a wide range of architectural styles from Queen Anne and Period Revival styles to Craftsman and Prairie. Many prominent Omaha architects designed homes and other buildings for the residents of Dundee, including Thomas Kimball, John and Alan McDonald, and George Prinz.

The district consists of private dwellings that are not open to the public, but the architecture and distinct feel of the neighborhood can be experienced from the public right-of-way.


El Museo Latino

The museum features Latino and Hispanic art and history from Pre-Colombian to Contemporary. The museum is a community center that offers many different educational programs, workshops and demonstrations. 4701 South 25th Street in South Omaha (402) 731-1137.  Adults $5, Senior and Child $3.50.  Check with museum for current hours and exhibitions.


Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters

The Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters is a visitors’ center with exhibits that describe the Latter-day Saints’ westward migration to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah by wagon, handcart, sailing ship, and train. Next to the trail center are the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery and the Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple. The Mormon Pioneer Cemetery, which was a burial site for some of the pioneers who died at Winter Quarters, includes a monument called Tragedy of Winter Quarters, sculpted by Avard Fairbanks.




Convention Registration

$200 (Early Bird post-marked by April 1)

$225 (After April 1)

$150 (First Timers)

(includes two lunches, two dinners)

Convention Questions:


  2023 ABA Convention Bell

Bronze train engine going through a tunnel

Created by Leslie Bruning

Leslie Bruning is a founding member and a partner in the Hot Shops Art Center, Omaha, Nebraska. He is also the owner of Bruning Sculpture, Inc., a mold making, casting and fabrication studio that has artist clients across the country.

 The bronze bell depicts a train going through a tunnel representing the role that Omaha has played in railroading. On one side of the bell, you will see the engine coming out of the tunnel, and on the other side of the bell you will see the caboose going into the tunnel. The handle is the railroad crossing signal, and the clapper is a railroad spike.

The bells will be signed and printed with ABA 2023 on the inside rim.

Cost is $55

Only 45 bells are being made.

Orders are first come, first serve by date of paid registration.


Some of the Educational Programs you will see at the 2023 Omaha Convention

My Lady Belles

In the wonderful world of bells there are some that are just special.  This group of women have an important place in my collection. They are all different but all meaningful.  As we look at our bells, we need to remember why each of them were made and what is their significance.  Knowing our bells is one of the best things about collecting them.

Netsuke Bells

Ever see those strange small figures that are often made of white plastic or wood grain material?  Ever wonder what they are?  They could be netsuke.  Often worn as a hanging accessory, sometimes on a kimono, these elaborately carved figures are works of miniature art. Unbeknownst to many, these figures might also be a bell.  These could be hundreds of years old and possibly made of ivory or relatively new but they are all interesting and amazing.

Bells that Honor Houses

Bells honor many different things.  These bells honor houses.  Whether they be a certain type of house found in one area or the county or it has a special history, they were all made to tell their story to the world.

Winston Jones Museum Bells Update

Remember Winston Jones?  A good many of you may but others may not.  He had a museum in Evergreen, Colorado and was quite the character. The neighbors were all invited to ring bells on the 4th of July to celebrate our independence.   He claimed he had more bells than anyone else because he did not count each sleigh bell on a string as an individual bell.  We will never know the answer to that one. We are fortunate enough to get an update about what has been done with his bells and the expectations for the future.

Lynn Chase Wildlife Bells

Lynn Chase, a self-taught artist, was a renowned wildlife painter.  She founded Lynn Chase Designs to broaden the reach of her artwork.  Among many other things, she produced some highly detailed and vibrant bells.

Carillons and Those Who Play Them

Hear that music?  What is it?  It might just be the carillons from a nearby church.  These bells have been played throughout the ages by people who spent years learning their craft.  Their sound is magnificent and the variety of music played is outstanding. These exceptional carillonneurs spend their time and effort in order to provide others with an amazing presentation of unforgettable refrains.

What Bells are Left for Me?

What’s left for me?  There are lots of things out there for the determined collector.  There are many groups of bells that make wonderful displays that aren’t that difficult to find and then there are others that take some patience, skill and determination to discover.  These “recent finds” show what can be accomplished if you put your mind, heart and soul into it.  There are lots of bells out there to find.  Just don’t give up!


Sunday, June 25

6:00 – 8:00 Pre-Convention Meet and Greet

Regency Ballroom – No registration needed

Thanks to a generous donor:

 A light meal will be available:

Sliced turkey, roast beef, ham and cheese

Assorted breads and rolls, condiments

Potato salad, baked beans

Assorted cookies or brownies

Iced tea and water

On your own – Alcoholic beverages





Monday, June 26

Omaha City Tour – includes lunch — $75

9:00 am     Depart Marriott Regency

9:30 am     Arrive National Park Headquarters; begin 2.5 hour guided bus tour of Omaha

12:15 pm     St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church Tour                                                                      LUNCH (Greek salad with Chicken, bread, drink and Baklava)                                        (Based on registration and dietary needs, the chicken and/or cheese can be left off)                             Wedding Dance with audience

2:00 pm     Hot Shops Art Center Tour                                                                                                                The Hot Shops house 56 Artists including 4 Hot Shop Studios that will be                                  creating their crafts on site. Items cam be purchased directly from artist.                                   See a bronze pouring by Les Bruning – 2023 ABA bell artist

3:45 pm     Henningson Campanile  30 minute performance by ABA member Brent Shaw

5:15 pm     Arrive back at Marriott Regency


Tuesday, June 27

Boys Town and Tippery Visit  Includes Lunch – $25

9:00 am     Depart Marriott Regency

9:30 am     Arrive at Boys Town for Tour

11:00 am   Depart Boys Town 

11:30 am   Arrive at Tippery Home                                                                                                                          Visit with Bonnie and Larry and admire their collections.                                                                Lunch is included with the price of the tour.

1:30 pm     Leave Bonnie’s Home

2:00 pm     Return to Marriott Regency



2:00 pm  BEHOLD and Bell Exhibit Room Open                             
 There are many exhibits of different types of bells

4:00 – 6:30 pm                                                                                    Bell Roadshow                                                                                      The Omaha community and ABA attendees are invited to bring one or more bells and have ABA bell enthusiasts help identify the maker, year it was made, where it was made, and value (if possible). Bring your bell and see if you can stump the experts. (No Charge)

8:00 pm  Welcome and Parade of Banners                             

Wednesday, June 15

Opening Ceremony and reports

A full day of educational bell programs given by our members.

Lunch and Dinner

Thursday, June 29

BELL AUCTION – 9 am to 3pm

Friday, June 30

ABA Business Meeting in the morning followed by educational programs about bells

Lunch and educational bell programs in the afternoon

Banquet and Installation of 2023-2024 Officers


More things to see


Click here to see slides of sights to see in Omaha


Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Park

Starting at Pioneer Courage Park (1400 Capitol St), the sculpture park is spread out over five city blocks. The installations are not adjacent but it is easy to follow the flow from one piece to the next. The series shows a wagon train and pioneers making their way through hilly and muddy terrain, as well as a stampeding herd of bison and a flock of geese. The meandering procession terminates at the First National Tower (1601 Dodge St).

Public Art DisplaysThere is a lot of art work in Omaha that is fun to see.         Public Art Omaha shows many and maps them for you. The Walking Tourist shows even more outdoor art. 

Kiewit Luminarium

Kiewit Luminarium is a place for people of all ages, identities, and backgrounds to explore astonishing phenomena at the intersection of science, art, and human perception.

With more than 100 interactive exhibits, a kaleidoscope of engaging programs, and weekly special events, there will always be more to explore at Kiewit Luminarium. Adults $24.95, Seniors, Teachers, Students and Youth under 18 $19.95, under 5 Free. Closed Mon and Tues, other days open 11am to 6pm.   345 Riverfront Drive, Omaha

St Cecilia’s Cathedral

Set high upon a hill, the twin bell towers of this lovely cathedral are one of the city’s key landmarks. The cathedral was started in 1905 and is said to contain more than three million bricks. According to some of the stories about the cathedral, every one of the bricks had to be dipped in water before the architect would allow them to be mortared.

The beautiful stain glass windows are more than 500 years old. In one section of the glass, the Virgin Mary is shown holding an ear of corn. The exterior of the cathedral does not do it justice; visitors should try to sneak at least a peek of the beautiful interior. 701 N 40th Street

Freedom Park Naval Museum

This large grassy area on the banks of the Missouri River is a great spot to stretch your legs and catch up on some military history.

You can walk right up to, and in some cases, inside, your choice of a mine sweeper, the USS Hazard, a small submarine, the USS Marlin, and a Douglas A-4D Skyhawk fighter jet. The massive anchor and propeller garden also makes for great photo opportunities. The park is free and open daylight hours. Tours are available on Saturdays. 2497 Freedom Park Road

The Amazing Pizza Machine     Family fun, Games and Attractions with laser tag, thrill rides, go-carts, bowling, arcade games, and an unlimited buffet.

Fun-Plex   A large waterpark, plus various family & kiddie rides

Wild Life Safari Park    30 minutes west of Omaha in Ashland, NE. A four mile drive-through North American wildlife experience. You can stretch your legs with a hike to one of our overlooks to view bears, wolves, elk, bison, pelicans and other waterfowl.  Or step inside our Eagle Aviary.  Masks encouraged.

KANEKO   Explore art, design, architecture and more at KANEKO, an “open space for your mind”

Gerald Ford Birthplace and Gardens   Memorial to the 38th President of the United States, born in Omaha. A Kiosk modeled after the original house’s turret contains birth site information and presidential mementos. A colonnade and Rose Garden modeled after the White House’s complete the site.