State Fair attendance numbers lower than pre-pandemic years

Nebraska State Fair final day
Nebraska State Fair final day(Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 4:00 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 3:33 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Nebraska State Fair attendance numbers were released, and they are much higher than the scaled back state fair in 2020.

During the entire length of the state fair, 266,245 visitors walked through the gates. That tops the 50,235 who showed up in 2020 when the fair was scaled back to ag and 4-H only.

But this year saw a drop from years before the pandemic.

During rainy weather in 2019, the fair saw 283,468 guests. In 2018, 314,805 people attended the fair.

This year’s number fell short of the record - when 379,108 people visited in 2017.


Visitors came to the 2021 Nebraska State Fair from 43 states and 10 countries, including a German delegation of 17 people. A state fair spokesperson said the number of international visitors set a new record.

The outdoor concerts were headlined by Jon Pardi drawing a crowd of over 7,800 fans. The attendance figures for the other state fair concerts were:

  • Happy Together Tour-4,752
  • Kevin Costner and Modern West-2,4832
  • Band Los Sebastianes-1,596
  • Warrant & Skid Row-1,481

State Fair officials said the 2021 fair earned record gross sales in carnival rides. Food vendors and commercial exhibitors also experienced an increase in sales when compared to 2019. A state fair spokesperson said carnival receipts and concessions sales set new records, but did not specify what those figures were.

The 2022 State Fair will be held August 26-September 5, 2022.

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