Nebraska State Fair 2013 festival

The Nebraska State Fair  2013 festival brings out the best in all genres of music highlighting the best in , country, rock, pop, and religious tunes. The 2013 concert series will take place in the Heartland Events Center. Please continue to check back for updates on the 2012 concert series.The Entertainment Series is presented by Bristol Windows, Nebraska Lottery, and U.S. Cellular.


Nebraska State Fair crowd
Nebraska State Fair crowd

Expected Attendence: over 350,000

Dates: August 23 – September 2, 2013

Nebraska State Fair 2013 festival Location and Nebraska Map:

Nebraska State Fair 2013 festival
Fonner Park
700 E. Stolley Park Rd
Grand Island, Nebraska 68801

Year Anniversary: 144th annual in 2013

Festival events:

Contests – (Due to the number of contests offered, we have included these at the bottom of the page)

Miss Nebraska at state fair
Miss Nebraska at state fair

Concerts, music and entertainment at the Nebraska State Fair

  • Kellie Pickler                Friday, August 23                        7:30 p.m.
  • Mel Tillis                        Wednesday, August 28             11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • Toby Mac                       Thursday, August 29                   7:30 p.m. 
  • Eli Young Band           Friday, August 30                        7:30 p.m.


Nebraska State Fair 2013 festival
Nebraska State Fair 2013 festival logo

History of the Nebraska State Fair

The Nebraska State Fair 2013 festival is a state fair held annually in Grand Island. It is an approximately ten-day event; since the early 1990s, the fair ends on Labor Day. Prior to 2010, the fair was held in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Nebraska State Fair, Lincoln, 1950
The first state fair was a territorial fair held September in 1859 in Nebraska City. The next fair was held in Nebraska City on October, 1868; this was the first fair held after Nebraska became a state. Nebraska City also hosted the 1869 fair.
In 1870 and 1871, it was held in Brownville. From 1872 until 1901 the fair switched back and forth between Lincoln and Omaha. In Omaha it was held at the Omaha Driving Park in North Omaha. The Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben (“Nebraska” spelled backwards) was formed in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to keep the fair in Omaha. In 1901, the Nebraska Legislature named the Lancaster County Fairgrounds in Lincoln as the official home.
Struggling with lowered attendance, the Nebraska State Fair 2013 festival was thought by some to be threatened with termination in the early years of the new millennium. It was added as a voluntary donation recipient to the annual state income tax and attendance rose enough in subsequent years to give it a second wind.
In 2008 the Nebraska state lawmakers decided, with the help of the University of Nebraska, which wanted the land cleared for a new Nebraska Innovation Campus, to move the fair to Grand Island. Several citizens filed a legal challenge to the law, contending that it “created a special benefit” for some of the groups and people involved in the plan.

However, in May 2010 the Nebraska Supreme Court rejected those arguments and upheld an earlier dismissal of the lawsuit. There was also an attempt to overturn the state law by referendum, but the petition drive failed to get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
The state allocated $42 million to construct new facilities in Grand Island, building adjacent to the city’s existing county fairgrounds, arena, and horse track at Fonner Park and the Heartland event center.

Popular culture

In The Wizard of Oz, the hot air balloon that had transported the Wizard to Oz and which was to take them back home has “State Fair Omaha” prominently written on it. The movie is based on a 1900 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book by L. Frank Baum.


Complete list of contest and events at the Nebraska State Fair:

The Nebraska FFA Association is a state and national youth organization made up of students (Grades 7-12) from across the state and nation. The FFA’s mission is makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. For FFA students to gain more information about the FFA competitions at the Nebraska State Fair

In an effort to reduce costs, entry books will be available only on the website. If you experience difficulty in downloading or printing the entry books, please contact us at (308) 382-1620.

Agricultural Products contests and events
From threshed grains & other large seeds to the largest pumpkin, squash, or watermelon there’s sure to be a category that’s just right for you.

Bee Culture contests and events
These competitions offer a wide range of categories from extracted honey, creamed & chunk comb honey to beekeeping photography, art design in beeswax and many more.

Beer contests and events
These spirited competitions include ales, lager, and mixed style beer.

Education Entry Book contests and events
There are a variety of education divisions to choose from including art competition, essay/poetry competition, graphic design, website design, science display, social studies, and many more.

Fine Arts contests and events
Enter one of Nebraska’s fine art competitions such as painting, sculpture, drawings & prints, stain glass, china painting, beading, jewelry and much, much more.

Foods contests and events
With so many categories to choose from, you’re bound to find something that’s just perfect for you. Choose from vegetables, canned fruits and vegetables, preserves, marmalade, butter, jams, juices/syrups, pickles, jellies, relishes, bread & rolls, cakes, cookies and the main course.

Horticulture contests and events
Choose from a wide variety of categories including potted foliage plants, artificial arrangements, cut flowers & foliage, potted flowering plants, gladiolus, dahlias, roses, flower arrangements, and lots, lots more.

Photography contests and events
Choose from a wide variety of categories including animals, plants, people, scenic’s and many more.

Quilts contests and events
Calling all Nebraska quilt makers! Classes run the gamut from bed quilt to art quilts, miniatures to king-size, made by a single person or by many.

Textile Arts (formerly Needlework) contests and events
Whether you are 5 or 95 – a traditional or contemporary textile artist – beginning or experienced – there’s a class for your work in the newly revised Textile Art Department.

Wine contests and events
Categories include sweet red, white, fruit, berry, novelty, hybrid & Native American grape, rose grape and many more. With more on the Nebraska State Fair 2013 festival



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