- Grounds Acts & Attractions
- Concerts & Shows
- Festivals & Special Events
- Displays & Exhibits
- Interactive Education
- Parades & Marching Bands
- Presentations & Demonstrations
- Agricultural Displays & Exhibits
- Daily Calendar
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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!
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.
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
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 25th. They will be providing a wide variety of different crafts, games, and a food eating contest!
Galaxy of Stars Talent Search
Bristol Windows Stage
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. Contestants compete in three age divisions: Comets (12 & Under), Shooting Stars (13-18), and Novas (19 & over). Top Songwriters from across the State perform original songs during the Finals on Bristol Stage at the Fair. For more information, please see the GALAXY OF STARS® official website www.galaxyofstarstalentsearch.com.
Qualify for the Semi-Finals by entering a preliminary contest. Contests are held at the following locations:
Clarkson Czech Festival Talent Search, Clarkson, NE - Friday, June 14, 2013
Starburst Talent Search, Hebron, NE - Thursday, July 4, 2013
105.3 Coyote Country Music Showdown, McCook, NE - Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Lancaster County Super Fair Talent Search, Lincoln, NE - Monday, August 5, 2013
Eustis Fair & Corn Show Talent Search, Eustis, NE - Saturday, August 10, 2013
Columbus Days Talent Search, Columbus, NE - Saturday, August 17, 2013
Click here to find out more information on registering for a preliminary contest.
Click here for a list of 2013 winners.
Great Question Challenge
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.
1st Place: Kramer's
2nd Place: Home Federal
3rd Place: Real Estate Group of Grand Island
People's Choice: Kramer's
- 4-H/FFA/Commercial Building
Know Nebraska is an opportunity for your community to compete to win one of three prized and complimentary exhibit booth spaces in the 4-H/FFA/Commercial Building at the 2013 Fair. All Nebraska counties/communities/tourism operations are encouraged to compete for a (FREE!) KNOW NEBRASKA booth space at the 2014 State Fair.
The Winners of Know Nebraska 2013 are Chase County, Nebraska Travel Council, and Village of Brownville.
Miss Nebraska State Fair & Miss Heartland Pageant
- Heartland Events Center
- 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.
Miss Nebraska State Fair 2013: Aleah Peters
Miss Heartland 2013: Allison Tietjen
Nebraska State Fair Pump & Pantry ½ Marathon and 5K in cooperation with the YMCA
Start & Finish at the Main Intersection
Saturday, August 23
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, August16th, to avoid the late registration fee and to guarantee a dri-fit t-shirt. There will be no registrations taken after August 23rd at 5:00p.m. Sign up now as registration is limited to 1000 entrants!
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, 10:00 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!
Texaco 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
Throughout Grand Island
In partnership with the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce's Can Do Window Display Committee, a window display contest will be held throughout Grand Island, allowing local businesses to give a warm welcome to the guests of the State Fair.
YMCA & State Fair Fun Run
Fonner Park Race Track
Tuesday, August 26, 6:00 p.m.
All ages are welcome to participate in the YMCA & State Fair Fun Run. Contestants will run on the Fonner Park Race Track.