By Governor Dave Heineman
The 142nd Nebraska State Fair kicks off next week. Last year, the State Fair moved to Grand Island and it was a huge success. This year the State Fair runs August 26 through September 5 and it should be better than ever.
Last year’s fair drew 309,400 people through the gates. Like many Nebraskans, I attended, and I enjoyed visiting the attractions and seeing the sights the new location and facilities had to offer. The new state-of-the-art livestock buildings take center stage on the grounds. The climate controlled birthing pavilion and milking parlor allowed children of all ages to learn more about livestock production in our great state.
This year additional improvements have been made to the grounds including the addition of trees, grass and rocked areas. The State Fair Board has worked hard to create a better traffic flow, with a new entrance on the east side of the grounds and an on-grounds shuttle service to make getting around the fair even easier.
Fairgoers can expect to see new shows and attractions this year including RFD-TV’s Trigger and Bullet Happy Trails Tour, Dr. Lori’s Antique Appraisals Comedy Tour, Aussie Kingdom, the Movie Stunt Adventure and Street Beat Parkour Percussion.
Kids of all ages will enjoy the Stuhr Museum’s 1890s living history railroad town in the Kidz Zone, along with fair favorites, Hedrick’s petting zoo and racing pigs show.
You’ll also be able to take in a great show while at the fair, including performances by Cheap Trick, Willie Nelson, LeAnn Rimes, Jeremy Camp, Crystal Gale, the Band Perry and Nebraska’s own Larry the Cable Guy.
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.
The annual Veterans Day Celebration will be held on August 29th. The day begins with a special recognition of Vietnam War veterans during a 9 a.m. event at the Heartland Event Center.
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.
Everyone associated with the State Fair has worked hard to make the second year at Grand Island even better than last year. I’ll be there several days and I hope you will too. See you at the Fair!