Nebraska State Fair kicks off for 153rd year

The 153rd annual Nebraska State Fair has officially kicked off on Grand Island.
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 10:45 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KOLN) - The 153rd annual Nebraska State Fair has officially kicked off on Grand Island.

Fairgoers will have countless options for snacks, treats and entertainment through Sept. 5.

More: Nebraska State Fair security & safety

“We are bringing attractions that you just don’t see at a county fair or even most state fairs,’’ said Frank Zaitshik, President of Wade Shows.

“Plan on spending hours here. there’s so much to see and do; there’s 40,000 hours of free entertainment,” NSF Executive Director Bill Ogg said, “Once you’re on the grounds, you literally cannot take it all in.”


The Wade Shows Carnival 2022 will have three newer attractions: the Enterprise, the Mega Drop and the Cliff Hanger.

The Enterprise, named after the USS Enterprise from the “Star Trek” TV show, is one of the largest rides of the carnival, holding 40 people at a time, with two people in each gondola.

The Mega Drop is the largest portable Drop Tower in the country, rising 120-feet. The car rises on the tower to the full height before free falling back to a safe stop below.

For those who may prefer more moderate thrill level rides, a new ride called the Cliff Hanger will be making its Nebraska State Fair debut. Made to simulate the motion and sensation of hang gliding.

Zaitshik said the fair carnival will also have plenty of rides for the kids and old time favorites such as the Spider, the Swings and bumper cars.


Rapper Flo Rida will perform Saturday, Sept. 3 at the Nebraska State Fair.

Other acts featured in the Nebraska Lottery Concert Series include Jeff Dunham, Brantley Gilbert, Los Tucanes de Tijuana and the “Happy Together” Tour.

Tickets & wristbands

Rides at the carnival require between 3 and 5 tickets. Prices are 5 for $6, 25 for $25, or 55 for $50. Unlimited access wristbands are available for $26 before Aug. 26, or $30 at the Fair.

“The wristbands are among the most popular items we sell,” Ogg said.

For more information and to purchase Nebraska State Fair carnival wristbands, you can click here.


With upwards of 50,000 people in one day attending the fair, it’s important to know the right places to park.

Fairgoers are advised to travel to the fairgrounds using by either using Stuhr Road or South Locust Street and from there, take the main entrance - State Fair Blvd.

Ogg suggests guests park in one of two grass lots located to the east and west of Fonner Park. But for those who want to avoid parking altogether, he offers up the shuttle service, returning once again this year.

“We also offer free shuttles from the Conestoga Mall, from Sam’s Club on the northern part of Grand Island and from Central Community College, on the southern part of Grand Island,” Ogg noted.