With the 143rd Nebraska State Fair set to kick off next week, I would like to invite all Nebraskans to join in the tradition and fun of the State Fair. The staff has worked very hard to prepare for the State Fair that will run from August 24 through September 3.
This year's fair will offer up "High Flying Fun" with the addition of the new 40-foot high Sky Tram that will give fairgoers a bird's eye view of all the fun. The fair has also acquired 36 additional acres of parking for the growing number of fairgoers.
Last year's State Fair attendance exceeded 333,000 people. In fact, on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend there were 68,000 visitors, making it the third highest daily attendance in State Fair history. I enjoy visiting the attractions and seeing the sights. The fairgrounds truly are state-of-the-art and allow visitors the opportunity to view livestock and commercial exhibits alike.
One area that I enjoy visiting is the 4-H and FFA exhibits. These students are our future agriculturalists and I am always impressed by the hard work, quality and ingenuity of their projects.
Some of the new and exciting events taking place at this year's fair include a partnership with the State Fair and RFD-TV as they attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records for a Classic Tractor Parade. The attempt will be on Saturday, August 25 at 1:00 p.m. at the Fonner Park Grandstand. There will be hundreds of tractors participating.
New this year is a free smartphone app that will assist fairgoers in finding their favorite food and entertainment with its GPS navigation tools. This app will even help fairgoers find their car at the end of their visit.
Union Pacific will be celebrating their 150th anniversary at the fair this year with a steam engine and passenger train on display during Labor Day weekend. Additionally, the first Wine and Grape Festival will be held on September 2nd.
Some annual favorites are back as well. Nebraska's Largest Classroom will be in session with State Fair exhibits providing a field trip opportunity for K-6th graders and teachers from public, private and home schools across the state. Our State Fair is an excellent example of a modern fair experience, featuring Interactive Education.
In addition to concerts, midway rides, games, and food vendors, the Nebraska State Fair celebrates the business and educational accomplishments of major industries in the state, with displays featuring the latest farm equipment, new technologies and agricultural products.
This year's State Fair is sure to offer something for everyone, and I'm excited to take in the sights and sounds. See you at the fair!