A fresh set of eyes sees the Nebraska State Fair and its future and likes what she sees.
Fair Director Lori Cox comes to the Nebraska State Fair from the Big Sky Country Fair in Montana as well as stints with the Western Idaho Fair and the Montana State Fair.
Cox says Nebraska has incredible facilities in Grand Island, perhaps the best in the country. Nebraska broke ground in Grand Island in 2009, holding its last fair in Lincoln later that year before moving to Grand Island for the 2010 fair season.
Cox says the fair needs to reflect who Nebraska is, to become ingrained in the state culture.
“Being able to say, ‘We are Nebraska.’ This is all things you and me and a big giant family reunion that everybody can be comfortable with and have an amazing experience,” Cox tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The move to Grand Island was accompanied by construction of more than a half million square feet of new buildings, which included three bars, an arena, and two exhibition buildings.
Cox says she will take a deep breath after the fair ends its 11-day run this evening, then begin putting together a master plan for the fair’s future. Cox says the State Fair needs to increase its visibility. She plans to spend more time with state legislators and to get to Omaha and Lincoln to promote the fair. Cox says the fair and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln need to develop a deeper relationship.
The new director began her duties in January when plans for the fair this year were well underway. She says it has been a whirlwind and, with a laugh, says there hasn’t been a dull moment since she arrived.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]