The Nebraska State Fair finished its 11-day run in Grand Island on Labor Day with lots of reasons to celebrate, starting with the attendance.
Executive Director Bill Ogg says the estimated total of 287,367 guests was up 7.9% from last year.
The biggest attendance days, as usual, were the final Saturday and Sunday with major concerts and the start of the Labor Day weekend.
Ogg credits almost perfect weather, with only one significant rain event, and this year’s entertainment package – which he calls “one of the most diverse lineups of entertainment” he’s ever seen.
Ogg says concert performers from country, Christian, rap, Latino, oldies, and comedy gave State Fair visitors the chance to see just about everything they might want while the free grounds entertainment and animal attractions had large, happy crowds.
State Fair Board Chairman Bob Haag says that from his perspective, the Fair went very well – adding that while he’s pleased to see the growth in attendance, he’s even more pleased “to see how much fun people were having at this year’s fair.”
Haag points to increased sales by the Wade Shows Carnival, other concessionaires, and the Fair’s beverage department.
The State Fair’s new walkaround alcohol policy was obviously a big hit with attendees. Alcoholic beverage sales were up 37% and there were no alcohol-related incidents reported.