The pounding hooves of those magnificent Draft Horses, boys and girls competing in the High School Rodeo, the sounds and fast paced action of the Cowboy Mounted Shooters, and hundreds of 4-H and FFA kids, are just a few of the things you will see at the 2017 Nebraska State Fair. If you want to see baby pigs or baby chicks, or big cows or big horses, or little cows and little horses, you can find them all at the 2017 Nebraska State Fair. If you want to see llamas and alpacas in costume, or chickens and turkeys, or those impressive Texas Longhorns, you can find them also at the 2017 Nebraska State Fair.
The Fair opens August 25 and runs through September 4. Education and excitement highlight this year’s Fair. Opening weekend you will find Draft Horses, Dairy Cattle, Sheep, Boer Goats, Llamas and Alpacas, Texas Longhorns, Dairy Goats and Open Class Poultry and Waterfowl, all in the new Livestock Barns on the west end of the fairgrounds.
Throughout the barns you will find educational pieces including informational signs and displays. There is an Avenue of Breeds for Beef Cattle, Sheep, Swine, Dairy Cattle and Rabbits where you will find out about different kinds and breeds of livestock. You can see Nebraska’s largest steer and largest boar. You can visit the Birthing Pavilion to view the birth of new animals or you can watch milking demonstrations in the Milking Parlor. Throughout the week you can see Sheep Shearing Demonstrations in the Sheep Barn.
The Draft Horse performances will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, August 25, 26 and 27. The Nebraska State Fair has become one of the premier Draft Horse shows in the country. The highlight of their show is the 6 Horse Hitch competition when 6 horses are hitched to a wagon and then perform in tandem against the other groups. On Friday, September 1, you can watch the Draft Horse Pull in the Five Points Bank Arena. Teams of horses attempt to pull various weights a certain distance to win. This gets very intense near the end.
In the East Entertainment Area, taking place in the Thompson Foods 4-H Arena and the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena the first weekend, you will see the Foundation Quarter Horses, Reining Horse Competition and Team Penning activities. The Thompson Foods Open Air Arena, which was completed last year right before the Fair, seats 750 people.
Monday and Tuesday you will be able to watch cattle dogs performing. These dogs are trained to work cattle on the ranch. This is a timed event. They perform against other dogs for prizes. The Nebraska State Fair has become the premier Cattle Dog Trial in the country. The best dogs from across the country are entered in our Fair.
During the week the Fair will see some of the best beef cattle in the country, competing in the Open Class Cattle Shows, the Junior Breeding Heifer Show and the Jackpot Feeder Calf Show. The cattle events culminate with the selection of the Supreme Female and Bull Thursday evening, August 31 in the Five Points Bank Arena.
In the East Entertainment Area during the week you will see the Ranch Sorting competition, the Appaloosa, Morgan and Pinto Horse Shows and the Miniature Horse Shows.
Labor Day Weekend will be buzzing with activities in all areas. On the west end will be the 4-H and FFA competition in Beef, Sheep, Swine, Goats, Poultry and Rabbits. That competition begins Saturday, September 2 and continues through Monday, September 4. Exhibitors will compete in both breeding and market animals. Selection of the Grand Champion Market Animals will be Sunday, September 3 at 4:00 pm and Monday, September 4 at 4:00 pm in the Five Points Bank Arena.
Down on the east end, during Labor Day weekend, will be the Working Equitation of Nebraska Show, the fast moving Cowboy Mounted Shooters performing Friday and Saturday, the Carriage Pleasure Driving Shows, the Men’s Ranch Rodeo and Bronc Riding and the Nebraska Team Penning competition. Rounding out the weekend is the Bader & Sons Cutting Competition on Sunday night and featuring the High School Rodeo on Monday, September 4. This rodeo features the very best kids from Nebraska competing for prizes and buckles and the pride of winning the Nebraska State Fair.
All in all, it is a fun filled, action packed 11 days. For full details on our schedule go to our website at www.statefair.org. Enjoy the Fair!