Slightly Lower Attendance At Nebraska State Fair

posted by Karla James - 

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Nebraska State Fair today announced audited results for the recent 2018 Fair held in Grand Island, NE August 24-September 3.

Lori Cox, executive director for the State Fair, said: “Although it takes a bit of additional time to get the Fair’s results tallied and verified by an independent, third-party auditor, we are pleased to share this information with Nebraska because, quite frankly, it’s their Fair.” Cox added that the State Fair team is committed to transparency and accountability.

“We also want to thank the community, Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, and the city of Grand Island for their tremendous support,” she said. “It has helped make the Fair successful over the years, and it’s what will help us thrive moving forward.” Cox noted that the strong working relationship with Fonner Park proved to be invaluable during the multitude of weather challenges this year.

While overall attendance was lower than in 2017, other key measures of success, were higher.

Cox continued, “As we anticipated the close of this year’s Fair, attendance was down a bit, given the record rainfall we experienced for the first time since moving to Grand Island in 2010. Despite this, other key measures of success made important gains. We plan to build upon all of these factors moving forward.”

Chris Kircher, chairman of the Nebraska State Fair Board, said, “The Board is excited about the growth we saw in other measurable areas. For example, in a year when we were forced to move or cancel events because of weather conditions, it’s generally counter intuitive to see customer satisfaction continue to grow – yet it did. Lori 2

Cox and her team responded professionally with public safety in mind, took care of our exhibitors, guests and partners, and showed us that they’re the right folks to build on the Fair’s momentum well into the future.”

Following are the audited results of the 2018 Nebraska State Fair:

2018 2017

Total Attendance ............................................................314,805 379,108

Tickets Sold at Gate ........................................................257,615 295,774

Highest Attended Day: Sat. Aug.25 ...............................43,992 62,954 Sat. Aug.26

Tickets Sold at Pump & Pantry .........................................6,325 NA

Average Number of Days Attended ..................................2.97 2.10

Overall Guest Experience (Scale 1-5, 5 Tops) ...................4.34 4.25

Attendees Traveling More than 75 miles ......................... 41% 36%

Advance Carnival Sales Increase over 2017 ..................... 86%

Nebraska’s Largest Classroom .........................................3,167 3,408

Marching Bands ..................................................................4,021 4,030

4-H & FFA Youth ................................................................2,796 2,704

Volunteers .............................................................................. 670 750

Draft Horse Shows .............................................................4,389 3,402

Livestock Entries Open Class............................................4,968 4,797

4-H Livestock Entries .........................................................2,695 2,624

FFA Livestock Entries ........................................................1,536 1,502

4-H Static Exhibits ................................................................ 717 356

Sponsorship Revenue Increase over 2017 ........................ 16%

Concerts 

Kelly Clarkson .....................................................................3,500     6,000 Brad Paisley

Sugarland .............................................................................3,300     12,800 Pentatonix 

Righteous Brothers .............................................................5,100   5,000 Ronnie Milsap

Francesca Battistelli ............................................................3,000   4,100 For King and Country

Old Dominion .....................................................................4,100     3,400 Lynyrd Skynrd

Up With People ...................................................................1,100    3,300 Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Night Ranger .......................................................................1,200    4,400 Cole Swindell

Results were audited by BKD in Lincoln, NE.

The 2018 Nebraska State Fair ran from August 24 through September 3 in Grand Island. The 2019 Nebraska State Fair marks its 150th anniversary and will run from August 23 through September 2.

Information provided by the Nebraska State Fair. 


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