Nebraska State Fair Sets New Attendance Record in Grand Island

A total of 352,176 guests attended the Nebraska State Fair this year, which is a new record for the fair in Grand Island. The previous record was in 2012 when attendance reached 336,987.

Joseph McDermott, executive director for the fair said, “We were up almost 11% over last year’s numbers, which isn’t surprising given our rain soaked fair a year ago. What is impressive is that we’re just short of 5% higher than our previous record in 2012. What makes it even more exciting is that we ended 2015 just 15,678 visitors short of two million. That will happen on day one in 2016.”

“The highest attendance for 2015 was the first Saturday of the fair when the total came in at 61,855. This of course can be attributable not only to the Keith Urban concert, but perfect fair weather as well,” McDermott said, “The second Sunday, which is typically the highest attendance saw 56,389 fairgoers.”

Other highlights from the fair include:

Saturday, August 29, 2015
State Fair Marathon
• 861 Runners
• 428 Ran the half marathon
• 186 ran the full marathon

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Keith Urban Concert
• 11,780 tickets sold
• Folks from 28 states and three foreign countries attended
Saturday and Sunday September 5 & 6, 2015
Firefighter Combat Challenge
• 100 participants
• 14 relay teams
• 23 tandem teams
• Eight states represented

McDermott said, “This was a banner year for the Nebraska State Fair with our largest concert in the history of the fair, and even more new and exciting attractions to entertain fair guests.”

Research through electronic kiosks was conducted again this year. Early reports indicate that the Nebraska State Fair was a hit with fairgoers. Overall Fair Enjoyment received 4.4 out of 5 stars and 80 percent of our fairgoers are likely and very likely to highly recommend the Nebraska State Fair to others.

“Word of mouth is our most effective advertising medium, and the word is very good,” McDermott said, “It’s our goal to always make improvements from year to year to make every Nebraskan proud of the state’s largest entertainment event.”