It’s no secret that I love the State Fair and I encourage everyone to go see it.
Quite a few changes were made this year to celebrate the 10th year in Grand Island and the 150th anniversary of the Nebraska State Fair.
My husband Dave and I went to the fair both Sunday and Monday and we didn’t even come close to seeing everything there is to see. But I’ll mention a few things we enjoyed and maybe it will encourage you to find some time to zip over to Grand Island on or before Labor Day to enjoy this annual event.
Sunday at the fair
On Sunday, we helped with the 4-H style revue in the morning and were free to wander around that afternoon. One of our favorite sightings was the elegant team of Percheron draft horses who were all decked out in their finery. There’s a special tent where you can visit them at the fair if you miss them strutting about the grounds.
We jumped on the tram to get acquainted with the new layout. The tram rides are free and there are many pick-up locations along the route. One of our first stops was the birthing pavilion in the sheep barn where we saw the piglets, the lamb, the calves, the chicks and the ducklings that have all been born during the fair.
We watched UNL students assist anyone who wanted to deliver a life-like baby calf using the new life-size plastic mama cow at the birthing center. What a fabulous learning experience! While in the area we also visited the exotic small animals on display in the sheep barn.
Later, we stopped by the Nebraska Building with its huge aquarium. Although we didn’t take time to do it this year, in the past we have tried our hand at archery and the shooting gallery. Both are free activities courtesy of Nebraska Games and Parks. And I’m always impressed at all the free entertainment they have in this area for the younger set.
Also at the Nebraska Building we watched the carvers at work creating a huge butter sculpture for the fair. This is also where we found the enormous sand sculpture which is being created from 150 tons of sand to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the fair.
We enjoyed some of the free entertainment around the grounds like Hillbilly Bob in his 1929 Model A Ford, Hedricks Racing Pigs and also the Papa Bear Chainsaw Carvings. Dave loved the antique tractors and we were both amazed by Marc Dobson and his one-man band.
Our second day at the Fair
On Monday, we went to the fair with the Fun Club. The big event of the day was the 50’s concert by three Rock and Roll legendary groups: the Drifters, the Coasters and the Platters. The show was fabulous and there are many more outstanding shows on the schedule.
Besides attending the 50s concert, Dave and I spent quite a bit of time admiring the Open Class exhibits in the concourse and the 4-H exhibits in the 4-H building. The workmanship and creativity showcased in these areas always amazes us. We also zipped through the Expo Building to learn what’s new in the latest gadgets. I sure would have liked more time to view the quilts.
And, once again, we had fun taking advantage of the free entertainment. We watched some cloggers on the CHI stage and we went to see Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel. My favorite afternoon entertainment was Mohanna with Red Shoes who performed on stage in the 4-H Building while we were viewing the exhibits. That made for double the fun.
I could also list all the things we didn’t have time for, but I’ll just encourage you to take a look at the state fair booklet or check out the concerts and activities online. The fair goes through Labor Day and it’s your chance to celebrate Nebraska. I sure hope you do.
Fun Club Schedule
And while you’re checking out the State Fair on-line, check the Fun Club schedule at www.yorkfunclub.com. If you see something of interest, call us at 402-745-6477 weekday mornings.