State Fair Foundation Raising Funds to Replace Equine Park

The Nebraska State Fair 1868 Foundation has officially kicked off a major fund raising campaign to replace the outdoor equine arena at Fonner Park.

1868 Foundation executive director Lindsey Koepke said, “Our fundraising goal is over a half-million dollars to create a state-of-the-art equine arena. The new 30,000 square foot arena (photo attached to email) will feature covered seating for over 500 spectators, quality lighting, announcing stand and sound system. New holding pens, bucking and roping chutes will make the arena perfect for future rodeo events as well as other equine shows and competitions.”

Foundation board chair Jayne Mann said, “The 1868 Foundation’s primary purpose is to raise funds for projects important to the Nebraska State Fair. Past fundraising includes funding the air conditioning of the Fonner Park concourse, the volunteer tribute, additional seating and lighting throughout the fairgrounds and annual support of the State Fair Volunteer Program. This is the next step in creating a better experience for participants and spectators at the Nebraska State Fair and throughout the year.”

“The new outdoor equine arena is being designed by Justen Nokes of Hastings who is renowned for his knowledge of rodeo and arena design,” Koepke said. ”We want to make sure that the new facility will meet the needs of local, regional and national equine organizations as they look for sites to host their events.”

For those interested in contributing to the arena project may contact the 1868 Foundation by calling 402.432.1393 or visiting