State Fair promising 'A Bumper Crop of Fun'

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Did you enjoy the Red Willow County Fair? How about the fair nearest your home town, already past, going on this week or coming up soon? We'll bet they generate memories to carry through the long winter into next summer's celebration season.

But let's not move on just yet.

Joseph McDermott, executive director of the Nebraska State Fair, and Shaun Schleif, marketing and sponsorship director, had a lot to talk about on their outstate swing promoting this year's event.

Can you believe it's already the fifth year for Grand Island to host the state fair?

Promising "A Bumper Crop of Fun," the event is getting up to full speed with the addition of the Nebraska Building, with 54,000 square feet of exhibition space on the ground level and 10,800 square feet of office space for state fair staff and management.

The new building freed up some 2,300 square feet of space in the Exhibition Building, alleviating a shortage of exhibition space that has existed since the fair moved in 2010.

One of the most notable improvements is the return of the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, made possible by the additional space in the Nebraska Building. Game & Parks Outdoor Encounter will feature its huge mobile aquarium, wildlife waterfall and meandering stream, climbing wall, spider web and other family activities.

The University of Nebraska will be there with its "Raising Nebraska" celebration of agriculture "from farm to fork," with visitors able to program a center pivot system, operate a combine simulator and take in shows in the Grain Bin Theater and view a display on the Ogallala Aquifer.

The wrist-band bottleneck has been replaced with a $6 "convenience fee" for performers such as Chris Young Aug. 22, Styx Aug. 23, B.J. Thomas Aug. 27, Michael W. Smith Aug. 28, and Karmin on Aug. 30.

America's Got Talent puppet star Terry Fator performs Aug. 29 for $20 ticket holders, and Brantley Gilbert tickets are $30 for his Aug. 31 performances.

The Nebraska High School Rodeo Association Showcase of Champions Rodeo will be 4 p.m. on Labor Day, and the newly retooled Nebraska State Fair Marathon, a Boston Marathon qualifier billed as the "Fastest Flattest Course in the Nation," will be 6:15 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23.

Other attractions include draft horse hitch shows Aug. 22, 23 and 24, a draft horse pull Aug. 29, Nebraska Lineworker's Rodeo Aug. 23, Antique Tractor Pull Aug. 20, Tractor Pull Aug. 30-31, and a Demo Derby Sept. 1.

A visit to the Nebraska State Fair would be a great way to wrap up a wonderful sumer. Check out StateFair.org for more information

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: