Vendor FAQ
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Vendor FAQ

When is the Nebraska State Fair?

The 2018 Nebraska State Fair is open Friday, August 24 – Monday, September 3, 2018.

What hours are buildings open?

The Pinnacle Bank Expo Center, 4-H/FFA Commercial Building, and the Vendor Exchange Office (VEO) are open the following dates and times:
9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
with exception on Monday, September 3: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

What hours are outdoor exhibits open?

The Outdoor Market Place commercial and informational booths are open the following:
Friday, August 24 – Sunday, September 3: 9:00 am – 9:00 p.m.
AND Monday, September 3: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The Outdoor Ag Market Place booths and displays are open the following:

Friday, August 24 – Sunday, September 3: 9:00 am – 8:00 p.m.
AND Monday, September 3: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Concession stand operations are open until at least 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. daily with the exception of Labor Day when closing can be as early as 7:00 p.m.

What is the attendance from previous years of the Nebraska State Fair?

Year Attendance
2017 379,108
2016 361,107
2015 352,176
2014 317,785
2013 334,931
2012 336,987
2011 333,043
2010 309,400
2009 367,200
2008 309,000
2007 299,000
2006 289,000
2005 262,000

Where are commercial vendors and informational booths located?

The Pinnacle Bank Expo Center is located on the south side of State Fair Park Blvd. The Pinnacle Bank Expo Center also hosts nearly 300 commercial and informational booths, the Grow NE Buy Local General Store, the NE Cattlemen’s Beef Pit, and Open Class Quilts.

The 4-H and FFA Building is located north of Family Fun Zone. In addition to almost 70 commercial/informational booths, the 4-H and FFA Building also showcases the UNL-NE Food Products (sales and samples), 4-H competitive exhibits, FFA Competitive exhibits and projects, and the Entertainment Nook.

The Outdoor Market Place is located south of the Heartland Events Center. This area features sidewalk type shopping, food and beverage concessions, environmental booths, and military displays. Food Pods #3 and #4 are located to the west of the Market Place.

The Outdoor Ag Market Place is adjacent to the south of the (commercial) Market Place. Agriculturaly themed vendors show large and small agricultural equipment and supplies, with many including an entertaining and/or educational component to their display(s) as well. Bristol Stage and the Good Life Lounge Beer Garden is also located in the Ag Market Place. Food Pods #1 and #2 are located to the west of the Ag Market Place.

What is the Outstanding Exhibitor Contest?

The Nebraska State Fair strives to showcase merchandise, industry, education, and information on a grand scale. We encourage all vendors and exhibitors to keep their space tidy, organized, and enticing to fair guests at all times. Select judges will view and rate all participating exhibits during the Fair. Prizes awarded to winning booths include ribbons, media recognition and other special thanks. Vendors are not automatically entered in the contest, so be sure to complete your entry form if you would like to have your space included in the judging.

When are vendor, concessionaire, and exhibitor meetings?

There are two vendor meetings at the 2018 Nebraska State Fair. The first meeting is a welcome meeting for all vendors on Thursday, August 23. This meeting will include light refreshments for vendors, while State Fair representatives present a quick orientation, including updates for the 2018 Fair. The location of this meeting is the Five Points Livestock Arena Hospitality Loft.

The second meeting for vendors, exhibitors, and concessionaires will be held on Monday, August 28. State Fair staff and board members will speak about the 2018 Fair and communicate with vendors through a question and answer session. The location of this meeting is in the Five Points Livestock Arena Hospitality Loft.

What does the Nebraska State Fair layout look like?

Building and outdoor area maps can be viewed and/or downloaded at Vendor/Concession Information.

What is the Performance Deposit, and who is required to pay it?

The $200.00 Performance Deposit (PD) is a refundable deposit required of all vendors who did not contract with the Nebraska State Fair in both 2016 and 2017. The PD is a refundable deposit provided that the contracted booth space operate within all Rules and Regulations of the 2018 Nebraska State Fair. The PD is refunded by a mailed check, sent from the State Fair office to the address on the Lessee’s contract. The refund check will be mailed no later than September 15, 2018.

How do I request electrical hook up and how much does it cost?

Electricity can be provided in almost every indoor or outdoor exhibit space provided the service is requested and paid for before July 1. Request for service must include needed volts and amperage and must be made in writing on the application or renewal form. Written request may also be included on the contract or final agreement with the Nebraska State Fair Facility Director Office. Electrical fees are listed on the Exhibit Space Pricing Guide as well as in the Rules and Regulation (#8.1 - 8.7)

What is the base rent cost for exhibit space at the 2017 Nebraska State Fair?

2018 Booth Pricing Guide is located for viewing and download at the Vendor Page

As a Vendor, Concessionaire, or Exhibitor, what credentials do I need to enter the Fair each day?

Everyone who enters the Fairgrounds during the Fair operating hours is required to have an admission ticket. Each full priced booth space includes one season gate admission pass for the vendor/exhibitor use only. Discounted spaces do not include admission tickets. The vendor season pass may be exchanged for 11 single day passes. Additional single day or season admission passes are available to vendors, concessionaires, and exhibitors at a discounted price.

Where can I park my Supply Truck?

Reservations should be made no later than August 1 (full payment is due at time of reservation).
See Rules and Regulations #21.1 – 21.4 for more information.

Can I camp on the Fairgrounds?

Camping is allowed in the Campground. The Campground is located on the north boundary road of the fairgrounds (enter via Fonner Park Road). Reservations will be accepted when available and when paid in full with a VISA or MasterCard.

Can I get a hotel room in Grand Island?

A list of hotels and motels (plus camping options) is available for viewing and printing here. Grand Island boasts over 1,800 rooms at various rates with varying amenities. Call your favorite provider now to get the best available rate! The Hall County CVB Hotel Hotline may be of assistance: 1-800-985-5620.

Do I need to charge sales tax and what is the sales tax rate in Grand Island?

If you are selling anything on the fairgrounds, you must charge sales tax. The sales tax rate is 7% (broken down into state: 5.5% and city: 1.5%). Sales tax information can be found by clicking here.

Food and Beverage CONCESSION VENDORS also must pay a Grand Island Occupation Tax. This tax is based on the total of the sale price, plus the 7% of city and state taxes. The GI City Occupation Tax is1.5%. Click here for information on the GI City Occupation Tax.

What method of payment is acceptable?

Visa and MasterCard are acceptable form of payment at the Nebraska State Fair. Certified check or money orders are acceptable forms of payment. A personal or business check is acceptable only before July 1. Payments should be made payable to the Nebraska State Fair.

What are the requirements for insurance?

All vendors, concessionaires, and exhibitors must carry a general liability insurance, including Premises/Operations and Products/Completed Operations coverage in the amount of $1,000,000.00 per occurrence for bodily injury and or property damage and $1,000,000.00 in the aggregate for bodily injury and.or property damage. The valid policymust name the Nebraska State Fair Board, Fonner Park Exposition and Events Center, and Hall County Livestock Improvement Association, and the City of Grand Island as additional insured. Proof of policy must be presented to the Facility Director Office before July 1. Many vendors, concessionaires, and exhibitors can purchase coverage on the State Fair User Policy. Click here to view and print the insurance application. Completed applications must be returned to UNICO Insurance Company with UNICO acceptable method of payment (see application form for details).

Where can I park?

Vendor parking in designated lots on the Fairgrounds is free. A permit is required and should be with your admission tickets. No overnight parking is available in the vendor lot. Trailers or vehicles that will be left overnight must be parked in the Supply Truck Lot.

Where can I order tents, tables, chairs, carpet, or other booth set-up equipment?

Midwest Tent & Events is the chosen provider for the Nebraska State Fair. Contact Brian at (402) 261-6784 for your decorating needs.

Where do I go when I get to the Fairgrounds to set up?

All vendors, concessionaires, and exhibitors must check-in before beginning to set up their booth. You will receive a vendor welcome packet with important reminders and updates as well as your exhibitor badges, at check-in.

Indoor vendors should check-in at the building where they are exhibiting. The information booth is marked on your map that is included in your contract.

Outdoor vendors check-in at the Vendor Check-In Office in the Nebraska Building. All payments must be current, and proof of insurance must be on file with the Facility Office before the welcome packet will be available and before any move-in or set-up may begin.

Where do I pick up and/or buy additional exhibitor tickets?

The State Fair Ticket Office is located on the NORTH SIDE of the Heartland Event Center (HEC). All Admission tickets that were ordered to be HELD for pick-up and any new purchases of admission tickets, or utility vehicle permits must be picked up from the HEC Ticket Office. The Facility Office does not have tickets or utility vehicle permits.

Is Campground Shuttle transportation available?

Yes, and it is provided free of charge to all paid campers who need transport from the State Fair Campgrounds to the State Fair North ticket gate daily from 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. starting Thursday, August 23 - Monday, September 3.

How shall I address UPS, FedEx, and USPS Shipments for my booth?

All packages should be sent to:

Your Business Name Ex. (Widgets R US)
Your Building or Area & Space # Ex. (EXPO CENTER, #J-105)
C/O Nebraska State Fair
700 E Stolley Park Road
Grand Island, NE 68801

Nebraska State Fair staff will not sign for your COD packages, you must be sure that you are physically available to receive all COD shipments.

UPS and FedEx Deliveries will be signed for and held to be picked-up with attempt to be delivered (when possible) by State Fair Volunteers starting on Monday, August 20 at the Pinnacle Bank Expo Center. Announcements will be made in indoor exhibit halls (Expo Center and 4-H/FFA Buildings) when packages are received.

USPS (PO BOX) deliveries will be received and made available to vendors from the Volunteer Headquarters in the Expo Center Building during regular hours of operation.

What are other important reminders and answers to common questions?

All booths must be open and have a company representative in the booth/exhibit space during all operating hours. See Rules and Regulations #5.10 for details.

Vendors/exhibitors can vend, sell, advertise, educate, and inform fairgoers from within the lease space only. See Rules and Regulations #5.9 for details.

Items that are NOT ALLOWED for display or sell include toy guns and laser light pointers. Items that are NOT ALLOWED for free giveaway are stickers, and helium balloons. See Rules and Regulations #5.4 for details.

All drawings and/or raffles must be approved of in writing from the Facility Director before August 1, 2018. See Rules and Regulations #7.1 – 7.3 for details.

No indoor exhibit shall extend higher than 4’ above the floor in the front 5’ of booth. Click here to see Rules and Regulations #3.5 for details.

Official Nebraska State Fair Space Rental Rules and Regulations prevail over any statement in this FAQ. Should a discrepancy arise, the official Rules and Regulations will override the FAQ statement(s).
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