Not the biggest, perhaps, but one of the best.
That’s the boast the Nebraska State Fair can rightly make after winning an impressive set of awards this month at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions convention.
The fair earned two first-place awards — for showcasing of community service efforts by young people and for a trading card project, developed jointly with the Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce, that provides information about the agricultural sector. That’s not all. The Nebraska State Fair picked up six second-place honors and three third-place awards.
This recognition by peer organizations is a tribute to the skill and vision of the State Fair Board and staff, and to the wide array of organizations and supporters in the Grand Island area who have worked to make the fair such a success since it relocated to Grand Island from Lincoln in 2010.
State Fair officials commendably are looking to keep the momentum going by developing a plan for how the fair may look in five years. As The World-Herald’s David Hendee reported in October, “among the proposals is a world-class equine facility, a second aerial tram, a second food and commercial vendor area, and an amphitheater and stage.”
Even if only some of those projects ultimately come to fruition, the forward-looking, collaborative approach of State Fair leaders is impressive.
Making a successful transition to the central Nebraska location in 2010 involved an extraordinary array of complications, but fair organizers and supporters have proved up to the challenge.
Recognition of their accomplishments by their peers validates these Nebraskans’ hard work and bodes well for the fair’s future.