The Nebraska State Fair commenced in Nebraska City in 1859, long before Nebraska became a state. Agriculture was recognized as the prime industry in the region, and the promotion of land and products was a driving influence for developing an exposition to put Nebraska on display. In 1901, the state legislature passed a bill declaring Lincoln as the official permanent site for the annual event. In the fair's 140-year history, Lincoln held 108 Nebraska State Fairs. The event was cancelled twice--in deference to the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, a world's fair held in Omaha in 1898, and when the government suspended all fair events in 1945 due to World War II. The fair offers food, entertainment, exhibits, and competitions for visitors of all ages and interests. Each year, there are bigger and better shows, midways, and performers to entice new crowds and to draw those who attend year after year. The history is preserved in precious photographs and memorabilia. Though the fair bids a sad farewell to Lincoln, new memories await as it moves to the centrally located community of Grand Island for its grand opening in late August 2010.
Author Bio: Author Mary L. Maas is a lifelong native of Stanton, Nebraska. She is a member of local and state historical societies, and the preservation of history is one of her major interests.
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