State Fair Attendance Drops Following Heavy Rains

Rains affected attendance at this year's Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island. (Photo by Jack Williams, NET News)
October 14, 2019 - 2:26pm

Attendance numbers at this year’s Nebraska State Fair dropped by over 30,000 people.


283,468 people attended the fair in Grand Island, Nebraska from late August to early September in 2019. That’s down from 314,805 in 2018, according to state fair officials.

Weather was a major factor in the drop in attendance, as nearly seven inches of rain fell in Grand Island during the fair’s 11-day run.

Lori Cox, Nebraska State Fair executive director, said not all the numbers were lower this year, as carnival, concession and concert numbers were up.

“We’re feeling really good about some of those things roaming into next year," Cox said. "We really want to start to consider what if this is the new norm with weather and what do we do about it. Those are some of those hard-hitting questions that we want to tackle and plan for contingencies such as this.”

Cox and other state fair officials moved most of the parking off grounds this year because of rain. Cox said the Nebraska State Fair and Fonner Park are starting to consider a plan to pave parking lots at the fair grounds to avoid similar situations in the future.

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