Tips for Getting to the State Fair


Thousands of cars, livestock trailers and buses will be rolling through Grand Island for the next ten days making their way to the Nebraska State Fair.

They shouldn't get lost as the city of Grand Island Street Department has been busy marking the way.

“All the signs are up, the guys worked on putting out like the main entrance traffic control stuff today that affects that Locust Street, and everything else we've just been working on the last couple of weeks, and I think we've got it all done, so just in time,” says Street Superintendent Shannon Callahan.

Once turning off South Locust and on to State Fair Boulevard, it's a matter of finding a spot, and State Fair Executive Director Joseph McDermott says parking at the main entrance there is free.

“You can always come directly to the fairgrounds and park, I think we have room for about 8,000 cars including our overflow lot,” says McDermott.

People can also walk or bike to the State Fair -- there's a Bike Barn on the north side of the grounds for cyclists. But most drive, and even with those thousands of spots, McDermott says remote parking is a guaranteed way to get dropped right at the gate.

“Both weekends, the grounds tend to get pretty busy, so if you prefer to avoid all that congestion I would suggest you ride the bus, it's really an easy trip,” he says.

Those motorcoaches run from 9 a.m. -11 p.m. daily from Walmart South, Vanosdall Field (north of Walmart South, near Rodeway Inn), Sam's Club and the Conestoga Mall.

After the fair, people who want to stay over might find problems if they haven't already booked a hotel, but the Grand Island Convention and Visitors Bureau is keeping tabs on openings, and Executive Director Brad Mellema recommends giving them a call.

“We can help find potentially extra rooms for you or things that you need during your visit here, or stop by our office on South Locust Street and we can get you maps and information about the city, it's a busy time of year and we love it,” says Mellema.

One extra traffic note: fair-goers might find some delays on the morning of August 23 as the inaugural State Fair Marathon takes off. Callahan says they expect to have everything open again after lunch.

Click HERE to visit the State Fair's web site and get more information there. They can be reached at 308.382.1620.

Click HERE to visit the Grand Island Convention and Visitors Bureau site. They can be reached at 308.382.4400 or 800.658.3178.