Nebraska State Fair


  • There are lots of ways you can participate in the Nebraska State Fair. Some contests require pre-registration or a nomination, while others are more spontaneous. But, all showcase the best that Nebraska has to offer. And, it doesn't hurt if you get to eat a lot of pie in the process!


Planning for the 2015 Nebraska State Fair is currently underway. Take a look at what happened at the 2014 Nebraska State Fair!



Family Fun Activity Center Contests

Family Fun Zone

  • The Nebraska State Fair Family Fun Activity Center offers something for everyone. Children of all ages and their families are invited to participate in numerous free family fun games, contests, and creative crafts EVERY day of the Fair! Games can include: water balloon toss, relays, Superball Saturdays, sponge run, eating contests, and more! The Overland Trails Council Boy Scouts will host Rain Gutter Regatta Races on the weekends and will have their Rain Gutter Regatta and Pinewood Derby track available everyday. Other daily games include Jumbo Checkers and Giant Jenga. Food Contests will happen at 5:30 p.m. daily with additional contests at 12:30 p.m. on the weekends.

Click the link below to view the day's activities:

Friday, August 22nd

Saturday, August 23rd

Sunday, August 24th

Monday, August 25th

Tuesday, August 26th

Wednesday, August 27th

Thursday, August 28th

Friday, August 29th

Saturday, August 30th

Sunday, August 31st

Monday, September 1st



Scavenger Hunt

Family Fun Activity Center, Family Fun Zone / Grounds-Wide

Grounds-wide scavenger hunt that tests fair guests on fair trivia!  The scavenger hunt will take participants from the FFA Building to the Family Fun Activities Center, the Barns to East Entertainment! 


Food Eating Contest Series

Family Fun Zone Stage, Family Fun Zone

Weekdays 5:30 p.m.

Weekends 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Participants of all ages can compete in the food eating contests.  Sign up the day of the competition in the Family Fun Activity Center Tent.  


Grand Island Community Youth Council

Family Fun Activity Center, Family Fun Zone

The Grand Island Community Youth Council will be partnering with the Family Fun Activity Center on Sunday, August 24th. They will be providing a wide variety of different crafts, games, and a food eating contest!

  • Galaxy of Stars Talent Search
  • Bristol Windows Stage

  • Saturday, August 30, 1-5 p.m. - Semi-Finals
  • Saturday, August 31, 1-5 p.m. - Finals
  • Nebraskans have the opportunity to sing, dance, or play their way for a chance to win over $9,000 in prizes, cash, trophies, and recording sessions at the GALAXY OF STARS® Talent Search. Semi-Finals are Saturday, August 30th.  Finals and Awards Ceremony are Sunday, August 31st.  Contestants compete in three age divisions: Comets (12 & Under), Shooting Stars (13-18), and Novas (19 & over). Songwriters from across the state who have the Top Five winning songs in the GALAXY OF STARS® Songwriting Contest perform their original songs during the Finals on the Bristol Stage at the Fair. For more information, please see the GALAXY OF STARS® official website www.galaxyofstarstalentsearch.com.

    Nebraskans of All Ages can qualify to compete in the Semi-Finals by entering the GALAXY OF STARS® Talent Search Mail-In Video Contest or by entering a local participating Preliminary Partner Talent Search. 


    Local Preliminary Contests are held at the following locations:

    Verdigre Sound Czech Talent Search, Verdigre, NE - Sat., June 14, 2014

    Clarkson Czech Festival Talent Search, Clarkson, NE - Fri., June 20, 2014

    Starburst Talent Search, Hebron, NE - Fri., July 4, 2014

    105.3 Coyote Country Music Showdown, McCook, NE - Wed., July 23, 2014  
    Eustis Fair & Corn Show Talent Search, Eustis, NE - Sat., August., 9, 2014

    Columbus Days Talent Search, Columbus, NE - Sat., August 16, 2014


    Click for More Information:         



  • Great Question Challenge
  • 4-H/FFA/Commercial Building

  • The competition is based on creating solutions to significant problems and is sponsored by the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at UNL. This year's Great Question Challenge will focus on resolving the issue of food wastage. Groups of two-four 4-H members will compete in this competition at the fair. For more information please visit CASNR's Web site.

  • Hay Bale Decorating Contest
  • Displayed throughout Grand Island & Grounds-wide

    The 4th annual hay bale decorating contest is a great way for local businesses to get involved in the fun and show their support of the Nebraska State Fair. Local businesses will receive a hay bale to decorate to commemorate the Nebraska State Fair. Hay bales will be located throughout the City of Grand Island and on the fairgrounds during the State Fair.


Here are the 2014 participants and their locations:

LOA Fitness- 2441 N Diers
Solid Rock Baptist Church
- 3221 W 13th St

McDermott & Miller P.C.- 2722 S Locust St

United Veterans Club- 1940 N Capital
Golden Living Center-Park Place
- 610 N Darr
Home Federal Bank
- 3200 S Locust-Home Fed Sign

Bickford Cottage Assisted Living - 3285 Woodridge

Active Family- 705 N Webb rd
Hornady Manufacturing
- 3625 Old Potash Hwy

Good Samaritan Society GI Village -  4075 Timberline St

Awards Plus- 2418 N Webb Rd
VA Medical Center
- 2201 N Broadwell Ave

Tom Dinsdale - 3312 W Stolley Park Rd

Bosselman Companies - 3123 W Stolley Park Rd

Conestoga Mall- 3404 W 13th
Central Community College-
3134 W Hwy 34
TOBA Inc.-
2621 W Hwy 30
Real Estate Group of GI-
1824 W 2nd

Cathedral Daycare- 112 S Cedar
The Thompson Company
- 3636 W Stolley Park Rd

Goodwill Industries - 1804 S Eddy

Boys Town- Corner of Wildwood & Hwy 281
Xenon Academy-
804 N Webb Rd
Platte Generating Station
- 1035 W Wildwood Dr

Staab Management Company- Fairgrounds
Abundant Life Primrose Retirement Global Industries
- Fairgrounds
Kramer's Wrecker Service
- Fairgrounds
Integrated Life Choices-

2013 Winners-

1st Place: Kramer's

2nd Place: Home Federal

3rd Place: Real Estate Group of Grand Island

People's Choice: Kramer's

  • Miss Nebraska State Fair & Miss Heartland Pageant
  • Saturday, January 17, 7:00 p.m.
  • College Park
  • A local, preliminary pageant to the Miss Nebraska and the Miss America Pageants open to women between the ages of 17 and 24. The pageant includes the following areas of competition: Interview, On-Stage Question, Evening Wear, Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit and Talent.

For more information, please click here.

Miss Nebraska State Fair 2013: Aleah Peters

Miss Heartland 2013: Allison Tietjen

Nebraska State Fair Pump & Pantry Marathon, ½ Marathon and 5K in cooperation with the YMCA

Start & Finish at the Main Intersection

Marathon & 1/2 Marathon 6:15 a.m.

5K 7:20 a.m.

Awards Ceremony

Saturday, August 23

The Full Marathon is now certified as a Boston Marathon Qualifier!

Click Here to see the Full Marathon route.

Click Here to see the Half Marathon route.

Click Here to see the 5K route.

Click here to register online or register in person at Grand Island YMCA, 221 E. South Front Street, Grand Island, Nebraska (308) 395-9622. All registrations must be received by Monday, August 16th, to avoid the late registration fee and to guarantee a dri-fit t-shirt. There will be no registrations taken after August 20th. Sign up now as registration is limited to 1000 entrants!

Entry fees: Marathon: $60 early registration (now-July 31), $70 (July 31-August 20)

                     1/2 Marathon: $40 early registration (now-July 31), $50 (July 31-August 20)

                      5K: $35 early registration (now-July 31), $45 (July 31-August 20)

Prize Money:


5K Male

1st Place


5K Female

1st Place


1/2 Marathon Male

1st Place


2nd Place


3rd Place


1/2 Marathon Female

1st Place


2nd Place


3rd Place


Full Marathon Male

1st Place


2nd Place


3rd Place


Full Marathon Female

1st Place


2nd Place


3rd Place



Nebraska's Elite Showmanship Competition

Bosselman Conference Center, Swine Arena, & Five Points Bank Arena

Contest is open to both 4-H and FFA competitors; however, there may be only one exhibitor per county.

Each participant must be at least 14 years of age to be eligible to show. Contest will include: a written test, beef showmanship, sheep showmanship, swine showmanship and interview. In small group rounds, exhibitors will be judged on their ability to effectively present the animal and conduct an interview about the species.



  • Nebraska Lineworkers Rodeo
  • Motorsports Track
  • Friday, August 22 (Competitors only)
  • Saturday, August 23, 9:30 a.m. (Competition at the Fairgrounds)

Electric lineworkers from across the state showcase their skills and knowledge through events that simulate real-life situations, and test their speed and accuracy. It's an opportunity to see our lineworkers perform tasks they do on a daily basis so that we have power at the flip of a switch. You'll also see tasks they do only in emergency, rescue situations. Plus, it's a reminder to everyone that Nebraska is the nation’s only state served entirely by public power.


Friday, August 22

For competitors, training classes and workshops will take place at the Midtown Holiday.

Saturday, August 23

The rodeo competition will take place at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds.


For more information and 2013 results, go to www.nelinerodeo.com.


  • Nebraska Pedal Pullers Association State Championship Kids Pedal Pulling Contest
  • Fonner Park Grandstand Apron

  • Saturday, August 23, 10:00 a.m.

Registration begins at 8:00a.m. at the Grandstand Apron.  Watch as kids ages 4-12 compete in the state championship pedal pulling contest! To access the Grandstand apron, proceed through the marketplace and come to the south side of the brick administration buildings on the southeast end of the grounds. Make your way through the antique tractors between the administration building and the Big Red Barn to reach the access to the Grandstand apron. This is a fun, FREE event!

Click Here for results.


  • Country Showdown
  • Bristol Windows Stage
  • Saturday, August 23, 7:00 p.m.
  • About the Showdown: Annually, a series of over 450 local, state, and regional live shows produced by country music radio stations are held throughout the country. Winners advance to their state events where prizes include $1,000 and the opportunity to compete in one of five regional events. Regional winners receive an all-expense-paid trip to the National Final in Nashville to compete for $100,000 and the coveted title, “Best New Act in Country Music.” 

    Each year, more than 50,000 artists compete throughout the U.S. Past local, state, and regional winners include: Martina McBride, Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Neal McCoy, Sara Evans, Brad Paisley, and Billy Ray Cyrus.

  • Window Display Contest
  • August 15- September 1

  • Throughout Nebraska

    In partnership with the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce's Can Do Window Display Committee, a window display contest will be held throughout the state, allowing businesses and residents to show their support and enthusiasm for the State Fair.

  • Click here for contest details and rules.