August 27th isn’t that far away. That is the opening day of the 2010 Nebraska State Fair at the new location in Grand Island. Jana Hafer (JANE-AH HAY-fir) is State Fair Marketing Director and says good progress is being made at the Fonner Park location. All the buildings are up and they are just waiting to put on the finishing touches.
“They are just working on doing all the finishing touches on the outside and inside of those particular facilities so we are looking at anticipating in six weeks or so, seven weeks, to get inside of those facilities to get the internal set-up completed.”
Building new fairgrounds isn’t an easy task and you can’t have people walk on dirt or mud paths. Hafer says they are working on completing the sidewalks and other paved areas.
“They are still working on external concrete around the building and doing a little bit to and from the buildings. We have had quite a bit of rain as of late and so they have had to shift on what they may be doing in that regard. The forms are all set up and ready to go but having a bit of a fist-fight with the weather so-to-speak but there is some of that poured and it is coming along and actually we will be done probably in the next week-and-a-half to two weeks here.”
There are going to be fewer parking spaces than what were available at the Lincoln site.
“We had around 8-thousand in Lincoln and have about 5-thousand to 55-hundred in Grand Island.”
Hafer says they have taken that into consideration and are offering an option.
“There is going to be quite a bit of community wide parking in remote locations that will have buses that will be shuttling people in on a regular continual basis. Kind of like on football Saturday’s in Lincoln. If you want to park in one of the shopping center locations and hop on a bus to go down to the game, we are going to have the same kind of set-up in Grand Island.”
Hafer says visitors will not have a difficult time finding their way into the park.
“We will probably have around 3 or 4 entrances. Some of these will be use predominately used for other purposes, whether we will have exhibitors coming out of one or vendors coming out of the other but foot traffic will be able to walk through those gates and a series of gates at the main entrance will be right off the immediate parking outside of the grounds.”
Hafer says exhibitor and vendor parking will be available as well as plenty of parking for those bringing in livestock to display.
There is more good news for those planning to stay for a few days in Grand Island to take in the sights. Three new hotels are being built to help accommodate visitors.