GRAND ISLAND – County fair season is winding down and that means the Nebraska State Fair is getting closer and closer.
The state fair hits Grand Island starting August 26th and the fair yet again has a loaded schedule.
New this year will be a high school and a college volleyball tournament that will feature such high school teams as Columbus Lakeview and O’Neill High as well as Hastings College along with other NAIA schools.
The fair was able to hold the athletic tournament this year because the Heartland Events Center opened up due to the fair bringing the concert series outdoors for 2016. Executive Director of the fair Joseph McDermott, says bringing the tunes outside will allow for 13,000 folks to attend the shows.
“Some of these bigger acts they are quite expensive and when you try to put them in a building that has a capacity of just over $5,000, the ticket cost for some of these acts would be incredibly high,” says McDermott.
This year the state fair will feature popular acts Train, Thomas Rhett and Lady Antelebellum, one reason high-profile acts are coming to the heartland is because fair organizers want the folks from eastern Nebraska to attend.
“We’re trying to drive some of the folks from Lincoln and Omaha with some of the bigger acts,” says McDermott.
This is the sixth year the fair has been in Grand Island with attendance increasing every year but one, McDermott says the newer location is bringing in a different demographic than what the capitol city brought.
“It’s from all over the state, we have a strong following in central Nebraska, western Nebraska has certainly picked up,” says McDermott.
New to the fair this year is a feature on their website where you can make your own personal fair schedule. You can do just that by clicking the link below.