2016 Nebraska State Fair

It’s called Nebraska’s largest classroom, but it’s so much more than that. Grand Island hosted the seventh annual Nebraska State Fair. And for everything going on at once it can be overwhelming, yet a fun challenge. I spent nine of the eleven days at the fair taking in everything it has to offer. A special thank you to my colleague Zach Mayhew for helping with coverage of the fair, but as well as some unrelated assignments. A thank you to R.J. Post (The Grand Island Independent) assistant editor with keeping assignments organized. And a thank you to a couple of our freelancers Jimmy Rash and Lauri Shultz. And copy editors for designing a photo page every day of the fair who were also part of this team effort. Here are some of my fair favorites.

Katie Crecelius of Boston, Mass.,right, falls backwards off a Western Red Cedar log while competing with Sarah Perry in a Timber Tina's World Champion Lumberjills Show at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Katie Crecelius of Boston, Mass., right, falls backwards off a Western Red Cedar log while competing in a log roll with Sarah Perry during a Timber Tina’s World Champion Lumberjills Show at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

A colorful float travels along a parade route during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

A colorful float travels along the State Fair Celebration Parade route during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Dawn De Witt grabs a new paint brush while painting a fancy sugar skull on the face of Destiny Lucero of Grand Island at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Dawn De Witt grabs a new paint brush while painting a fancy sugar skull on the face of Destiny Lucero of Grand Island at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Keagan Hartman of North Platte crawls through a pipe in the Family Fun Zone during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Keagan Hartman of North Platte crawls through a pipe in the Family Fun Zone during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Angela Walsh of North Platte drives the B.G. Stales Hitch during the Draft Horse Cart- Mares competition at Five Points Bank Arena. Walsh won first place at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Angela Walsh of North Platte drives the B.G. Stales Hitch during the Draft Horse Cart- Mares competition at Five Points Bank Arena. Walsh won first place at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Michael Collon climbs to the top of an outdoor gym on a foggy Saaturday morning at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Marathon on a foggy Saturday morning.

Michael Collon climbs to the top of an outdoor gym on a foggy Saturday morning at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

The Procrastinators from San Diego, Calif. Jamar Williams, left, Chris Doolittle, center and Warren Taylor run around their homemade drum sets while performing at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

The Procrastinators from San Diego, Calif. Jamar Williams, left, Chris Doolittle, center and Warren Taylor run around their homemade drum sets while performing at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Tony Toth of Lincoln gives high fives to the Grand Island Senior High cheerleaders while approaching the finish line in a 5K run during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Marathon. Toth is originally from Grand Island.

Tony Toth of Lincoln gives high fives to the Grand Island Senior High cheerleaders while approaching the finish line in a 5K run during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Marathon. Toth is originally from Grand Island.

Dave Alder of Norfolk talks with his teammates while holding an American flag as a member of the Red, White and Blue team during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Marathon on a foggy Saturday morning.

Dave Alder of Norfolk talks with his teammates while holding an American flag as a member of the Red, White and Blue team during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Marathon on a foggy Saturday morning.

Visan Espana with Flippin, a steam punk themed aerial and aerobatic spectacular jumps inside the wheel of death at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Visan Espana with Flippin, a steam punk themed aerial and aerobatic spectacular jumps inside the wheel of death at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

With her hands behind her back Matildesu Bristol of Grand Island competes in the King’s funnel cake eating contest on the Family Fun Zone stage at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

With her hands behind her back Matildesu Bristol of Grand Island competes in the King’s funnel cake eating contest on the Family Fun Zone stage at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

An Australian Sheppard named Ben comes face to face with cattle he’s trying to herd into a pen during the Midwest Cattle Dog Trials at the Nebraska State Fair inside Five Points Bank Arena. Ben was the only Australian Sheppard in the competition and is owned by George Muehlhelm of Belleview, Ohio.

An Australian Sheppard named Ben comes face to face with cattle he’s trying to herd into a pen during the Midwest Cattle Dog Trials at the Nebraska State Fair inside Five Points Bank Arena. Ben was the only Australian Sheppard in the competition and is owned by George Muehlhelm of Belleview, Ohio.

The mother of a newborn calf is licked clean inside the Birthing Pavilion at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

The mother of a newborn calf is licked clean inside the Birthing Pavilion at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Bobbie the Barker yells out to fair attendees in the Family Fun Zone at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Bobbie the Barker yells out to fair attendees in the Family Fun Zone at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Kasten Ruether of Cordova, Neb. straddles a rail fence while watching the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Ranch Bronc Riding Rodeo in the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena.

Kasten Ruether of Cordova, Neb. straddles a rail fence while watching the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Ranch Bronc Riding Rodeo in the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena.

A team of cowboys take down a steer during a Ranch Rodeo in the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena.

A team of cowboys take down a steer during a Ranch Rodeo in the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena.

Jake Hoffschneider of Wacko, uses both hands to turn the crank on a hand-corn Sheller at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Jake Hoffschneider of Wacko, uses both hands to turn the crank on a hand-corn Sheller at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Country music artists Lady Antebellum performs an outdoor concert to a capacity crowd during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Saturday night.

Country music artists Lady Antebellum performs an outdoor concert to a capacity crowd during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Saturday night.

A Border Collie named Bailey licks the inside of a window in a trailer belonging to Jeff Koblilitz of Nickerson, Kan. at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

A Border Collie named Bailey licks the inside of a window in a trailer belonging to Jeff Koblilitz of Nickerson, Kan. at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Bruce Bartels conducts the North Bend Community Band during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Bruce Bartels conducts the North Bend Community Band during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Mayor Jeremy Jensen shares a laugh while taking the podium during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair opening ceremony.

Mayor Jeremy Jensen shares a laugh while taking the podium during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair opening ceremony.

Hannah Huston performs in concert in her hometown of Grand Island at the Heartland Event Center during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Hannah Huston performs in concert in her hometown of Grand Island at the Heartland Event Center during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Fans in the front row at the Heartland Event Center watch Hannah Huston perform during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Friday.

Fans in the front row at the Heartland Event Center watch Hannah Huston perform during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Friday.

Hannah Huston's initials appear in lights shines on a silver screen prior to her concert at the Heartland Event Center.

Hannah Huston’s initials appear in lights shines on a silver screen prior to her concert at the Heartland Event Center.

Jethro Nelson of Lincoln works barbecues for Lolo’s during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Jethro Nelson of Lincoln works barbecues for Lolo’s during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Para professional Jodi Kova, left, helps Shoemaker Elementary School third-grader Brooke Starman put on a cow hat during Nebraska’s largest classroom day at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Tuesday.

Para professional Jodi Kova, left, helps Shoemaker Elementary School third-grader Brooke Starman put on a cow hat during Nebraska’s largest classroom day at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Tuesday.

Street Breakz performer Anthony Sicardo of Orlando, Fla. balances on one hand while break dancing on stage under the Family Fun Zone tent at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Street Breakz performer Anthony Sicardo of Orlando, Fla. balances on one hand while break dancing on stage under the Family Fun Zone tent at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Travis Mitchell, a Grand Island firefighter leads the Honor Guard to present colors for the National Anthem during the Scott Firefighter Challenge at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Travis Mitchell, a Grand Island firefighter leads the Honor Guard to present colors for the National Anthem during the Scott Firefighter Challenge at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Five flags are place in the top of a fire bell on an Ellsburg Fire Dept. 1930 fire pump at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Five flags are place in the top of a fire bell on an Ellsburg Fire Dept. 1930 fire pump at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Alexa Zoppe collects rings with her sword while riding on her horse during a Dark Knights performance at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Alexa Zoppe collects rings with her sword while riding on her horse during a Dark Knights performance at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Ebony Handler of Hastings reacts after winning the Carmel apple eating contest in the 12 and under age division at the Nebraska State Fair.

Ebony Handler of Hastings reacts after winning the Carmel apple eating contest in the 12 and under age division at the Nebraska State Fair.

Helen Waring Johnson of Geneva performs her Helen’s Musical Hats Show inside the FFA Exhibition Building at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Helen Waring Johnson of Geneva performs her Helen’s Musical Hats Show inside the FFA Exhibition Building at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

The St. Paul High School Wildcats marching band performs at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

The St. Paul High School Wildcats marching band performs at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Hadley Bockmann of Grand Island, right, shares a laugh while taking a bite of pizza in the 13-18 year-old Valentino’s Pizza Eating Contest at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Wednesday.

Hadley Bockmann of Grand Island, right, shares a laugh while taking a bite of pizza in the 13-18 year-old Valentino’s Pizza Eating Contest at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Wednesday.

Smoke billows out of pipes on a John Deere tractor along the parade route during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Smoke billows out of pipes on a John Deere tractor along the parade route during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Lauralee Huyck of Wayne, Neb. drives her Clydesdales while participating in a carriage driving clinic at the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Lauralee Huyck of Wayne, Neb. drives her Clydesdales while participating in a carriage driving clinic at the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Tabitha Mansker, 2016 American Honey Princess, makes a smoothie while holding a cooking class with honey in conjunction with the American Bee Federation in the Raising Nebraska presentation kitchen Friday at the Nebraska State Fair.

Tabitha Mansker, 2016 American Honey Princess, makes a smoothie while holding a cooking class with honey in conjunction with the American Bee Federation in the Raising Nebraska presentation kitchen Friday at the Nebraska State Fair.

Carter Ellington of Seedling Mile Elementary School, rolls a cable spool at a little lineman’s rodeo during Nebraska's largest classroom day at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Tuesday.

Carter Ellington of Seedling Mile Elementary School, rolls a cable spool at a little lineman’s rodeo during Nebraska’s largest classroom day at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Tuesday.

Larry Sell of LaVista dons a Nebraska cowboy hat while watching The Clogging Connection on the Family Fun Zone Stage at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Monday.

Larry Sell of LaVista dons a Nebraska cowboy hat while watching The Clogging Connection on the Family Fun Zone Stage at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Monday.

A colorful float travels along a parade route during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Saturday.

A colorful float travels along a parade route during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Saturday.

Lindsey Leisenring, with Chics with Axes, right, throws an axe at a target with Katie Crecelius awaiting her turn at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Friday.

Lindsey Leisenring, with Timber Tina’s World Champion Lumberjills Show throws an axe at a target during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

A meeting is held prior to a State Fair Ranch Rodeo sanctioned with the WSRRA in the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena.

A meeting is held prior to a State Fair Ranch Rodeo sanctioned with the WSRRA in the Thompson Foods Open Air Arena.

Public Works employees Harold Brei, left, and Kent Lentz work together to put up a new State Fair Blvd. street sign on S. Locust St. the morning before the opening of the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Public Works employees Harold Brei, left, and Kent Lentz work together to put up a new State Fair Blvd. street sign on S. Locust St. the morning before the opening of the 2016 Nebraska State Fair.

Greg Stimple puts an American flag bandanna on his son Raiden prior to the John Anderson concert during Older Nebraskan’s Day at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Wednesday.

Greg Stimple puts an American flag bandanna on his son Raiden prior to the John Anderson concert during Older Nebraskan’s Day at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Wednesday.

Ken Herbel’s dog Sweep barks while rounding up cattle during the Midwest Cattle Dog Trials at the Nebraska State Fair inside Five Points Bank Arena.

Ken Herbel’s dog Sweep barks while rounding up cattle during the Midwest Cattle Dog Trials at the Nebraska State Fair inside Five Points Bank Arena.

Dango, one part of a California act called Mango and Tango, frowns while entertaining visitors at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Wednesday. Dango walks on three foot stilts.

Dango, one part of a California act called Mango and Dango, frowns while entertaining visitors at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Wednesday. Dango walks on three foot stilts.

Jacque Johnson with Hall County 4-H models an outfit during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair 4-H Fashion Show at the Heartlands Event Center.

Jacque Johnson with Hall County 4-H models an outfit during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair 4-H Fashion Show at the Heartlands Event Center.

 

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Easton Bockmann of Grand Island looks through a telescope at the sun with a special filter on the front element as Dan Glomski, a mad scientist educator with the Edgerton Explorit Center, right, watches with the Bockmann family at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Monday.

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Jeramy Beck of Grand Island looks at his family while competing in the Heartland Lutheran age 13-18 year-old cherry pie eating contest during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Monday. Contestants could use their hands to eat, but not utencils.

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Sharon Dyer of Grand Island places a pin on a map of Iraq to show where she served two tours in the Iraqi War during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Veterans Day Celebration inside the Heartland Events Center.

Beth Linn of Scottsbluff, Nebraska state commander for the American Legion Riders stands in front of other Legion Riders in an isle way during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Veterans Day Celebration inside the Heartland Events Center Monday. Linn is the first female state commander.

Beth Linn of Scottsbluff, Nebraska state commander for the American Legion Riders stands in front of other Legion Riders in an isle way during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Veterans Day Celebration inside the Heartland Events Center Monday. Linn is the first female state commander.

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Eddie a comfort dog takes to his working position with a flag attached to his vest during the 2016 Nebraska State Fair Veterans Day Celebration Monday.

 

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Atleigh Hirschfeld of Benedict, Neb. keeps up with her pig during the Parade of Champions at the 2016 Nebraska State Fair on Labor Day Monday.

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Bruren Strope of O’Neil, Neb., left, reaches out to his sister Tejlor who just won the 4-H Market Beef Grand Champion for showing Paddy at the Five points Bank Arena on Labor Day Monday.

Bruren Strope of O’Neil, Neb., left, reaches out to his sister Tejlor who just won the 4-H Market Beef Grand Champion for showing Paddy at the Five points Bank Arena on Labor Day Monday.

Tejlor Strope of O’Neil, Neb., wipes away the tears of her brother Bruren after she won the 4-H Market Beef Grand Champion for showing Paddy at the Five points Bank Arena on Labor Day Monday.

Joseph McDermott, executive director for the Nebraska State Fair gives the final attendance numbers during a press conference outside the Nebraska Building Tuesday. There were 361,107 visitors over the 11-day State Fair up by 2.5 percent from the previous year.

Joseph McDermott, executive director for the Nebraska State Fair gives the final attendance numbers during a press conference outside the Nebraska Building Tuesday. There were 361,107 visitors over the 11-day State Fair up by 2.5 percent from the previous year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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