Grand Island—Nebraska State Fair announced on Ocotober 11, the results for the 150th Fairabration held in Grand Island, Nebraska from Aug. 23 through Sept. 2, 2019. The State Fair encountered significant challenges this year with 6.62 inches of rain seven of the 11 days, two of which caused flooding on the grounds.
The wet weather rendered the Fair’s grass parking lots unusable, but a pre-planned shuttle system was put into place to transport fairgoers to the gates from paved, off-site locations.
Lori Cox, executive director for the State Fair, said, “Nebraskans are resilient and adapted to the parking situation. Fair results were presented to the Board today [October 11], and though the weather created major challenges, the success of the Fair was still evidenced. Although it takes a bit of additional time to get the Fair’s results tallied and verified by an independent, third-party auditor, we are pleased to share our current information with Nebraska as we begin plans for 2020,” Cox added.
“The staff and State Fair Board also want to thank the Grand Island community, especially the volunteers, Fonner Park and the six shuttle locations for their tremendous support,” she said. “Despite the weather complications, we had some outstanding—and unexpected—successes.”
While overall attendance was slightly lower than 2018, other key measures of success were higher.
Cox reported the following results to the Fair Board.
Results will be audited by an independent firm following the close of the 2019 fiscal year.
Chris Kircher, chairman of the Nebraska State Fair Board, said, “Each year, the reputation of the Fair grows, and while we can’t control Mother Nature, we can provide an experience for fairgoers that at least competes with the weather. In a year when we were forced to move or cancel events because of weather conditions, it’s counterintuitive to see high attendee satisfaction—yet, according to our on-grounds surveys, satisfaction continued to receive high marks, and some key metrics continued to grow. There are always unexpected elements at the Fair, but the team responded professionally with public safety first and foremost, taking care of our exhibitors and vendors, guests and partners.”
The 2019 Nebraska State Fair ran from Aug. 23 through Sept. 2 in Grand Island. The 2020 Nebraska State Fair runs Aug. 28 through Sept. 7.