Congratulations, G.I., for rising to the state fair challenge
Grand Island isn't Western Nebraska by any stretch of the imagination, but Thursday's groundbreaking ceremony for a new state fair park there was a victory for our end of the state.
Granted, it would never have happened had the University of Nebraska not coveted the state fair's location for a new "innovation campus," but Grand Island is to be congratulated to rising to the challenge, committing millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours to become home to the state's premier legacy event.
Gov. Dave Heineman, who promised to remain the project's "chief cheerleader," called the move a "win-win" situation, and he is correct.
The atmosphere of the state fair is bound to change, but in a positive way. With a new 250,000-square-foot exhibit hall going up in August, the Grand Island venue will better share momentum with the annual Husker Harvest Days event that precedes the fair each year.
The central Nebraska location will help emphasize the state fair's agricultural roots, while taking advantage of everything the new, designed-for-the-purpose facilities offer.
We hope the fair move continues a trend toward moving more events, such as sports playoffs, out of Nebraska's two major population centers to places closer to the rest of us.