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Nebraska county fairs are back

Curt Arens Young kid at fair
FAIRS ARE BACK: Last summer, most county fairs and the Nebraska State Fair operated with pared-down versions that focused on youth contests for 4-H and FFA, without carnivals or entertainment. This summer, fairs will look much more like normal, with full schedules of activities being planned.
COVID-19 put a wrench in 2020 plans for many events in the state.

County fairs this summer will be something special, especially since COVID-19 shut down or altered nearly all of the 2020 county fairs in Nebraska, along with causing a major change in the format of the Nebraska State Fair.

This summer looks like a breakout year for fairs. With optimism abounding, everyone is looking forward to getting out and about and enjoying the company of their friends and neighbors at large-scale festivals and events, such as the county fairs.

In rural Nebraska, county fairs are a little like coming home, because they offer an opportunity for neighbors across the counties and around the region to catch up on each other’s lives, enjoy some homegrown entertainment, and watch their young 4-H and FFA members compete in contests together. This is where lifelong friendships are made and nurtured. It is a county coming together to celebrate agriculture and rural life.

Our state has county fairs from the tiniest communities such as unincorporated Tryon in McPherson County, all the way to Omaha in Douglas County. Every corner of the state enjoys county fairs, including Dundy County in the far southwest at Benkelman, all the way up to the Boyd County Fair at Spencer. Don’t forget the Richardson County Fair in the far southeast at Humboldt, all the way up to the Sioux County Fair at Harrison in the northwest Panhandle, and all points in between.

From the beginning of July until the middle of September, you could attend several county fairs across the state almost every week. It’s been a few years since we attempted to list all of the dates and locations of county fairs in Nebraska, but this year we tried to compile as complete of a list as possible, with 92 fairs and the Nebraska State Fair listed in our compilation.

We hope that you will take this summer opportunity to visit your local county fair and the fairs of surrounding counties. It is a summer thing to do in Nebraska, and after COVID-19, we all deserve these kinds of celebrations.

Nebraska fairs by date

Date                                          Fair Name                                                     Location


July 6-11                                  Madison County Fair                                      Madison

July 6-12                                  Fillmore County Fair                                       Geneva

July 7-10                                  Clay County Fair                                             Clay Center

July 7-11                                  Franklin County Fair                                        Franklin

July 7-11                                  Platte County Fair                                            Columbus

July 10-14                                Boone County Fair                                          Albion

July 10-15                                Nuckolls County Fair                                       Nelson

July 12-17                                Furnas County Fair                                          Beaver City

July 13-18                                Butler County Fair                                            David City

July 13-18                                Hitchcock County Fair                                      Culbertson

July 13-19                                Saline County Fair                                            Crete

July 14-18                                Adams County Fair                                           Hastings

July 14-18                                Cedar County Fair                                             Hartington

July 14-18                                Jefferson County Fair                                        Fairbury

July 15-18                                Colfax County Fair                                             Leigh

July 15-19              `                 Dawson County Fair                                          Lexington

July 16-18                                Douglas County Fair                                          Omaha

July 16-20                                Burt County Fair                                                 Oakland

July 17-21                                Howard County Fair                                           St. Paul

July 17-24                                Morrill County Fair                                              Bridgeport

July 19-24                                Perkins County Fair                                            Grant

July 20-25                                Thomas County Fair                                           Thedford

July 21-25                                Dundy County Fair                                              Benkelman

July 21-25                                Hall County Fair                                                  Grand Island

July 21-25                                Lincoln County Fair                                             North Platte

July 21-25                                Polk County Fair                                                  Osceola

July 21-27                                Buffalo County Fair                                              Kearney

July 22-24                                Webster County Fair                                            Bladen

July 22-25                                Otoe County Fair                                                  Syracuse

July 22-25                                Wayne County Fair                                               Wayne

July 22-26                                Red Willow County Fair                                         McCook

July 23-25                                Nance County Fair                                                 Fullerton

July 23-Aug. 1                          Sheridan County Fair                                             Gordon

July 24-28                                Sherman County Fair                                             Loup City

July 25-29                                Phelps County Fair                                                 Holdrege

July 25-31                                Cheyenne County Fair                                           Sidney

July 25-Aug. 1                         Saunders County Fair                                             Wahoo

July 26-Aug. 1                         Hamilton County Fair                                              Aurora

July 27-29                                Blaine County Fair                                                 Dunning

July 28-31                                Boyd County Fair                                                   Spencer

July 28-31                                Garfield County Fair                                               Burwell

July 28-31                                Gosper County Fair                                                Elwood

July 28-31                                Pawnee County Fair                                               Pawnee City

July 28-Aug. 1                          Gage County Fair                                                   Beatrice

July 28-Aug. 1                          Pierce County Fair                                                  Pierce

July 29-Aug. 1                          Dixon County Fair                                                   Concord

July 29-Aug. 7                          Lancaster County Fair                                             Lincoln

July 30-Aug. 8                          Sioux County Fair                                                    Harrison

July 30-Aug. 7                          Dawes County Fair                                                  Chadron

July 30-Aug. 5                          Custer County Fair                                                  Broken Bow

July 31-Aug. 4                          Merrick County Fair                                                Central City

July 31-Aug. 4                          Washington County Fair                                          Arlington

July 31-Aug. 6                          Hayes County Fair                                                   Hayes Center

July 31-Aug. 7                          Scottsbluff County Fair                                             Mitchell

July 31-Aug. 8                          Hooker County Fair                                                  Mullen


Aug. 1-6                                    Harlan County Fair                                                 Orleans

Aug. 1-7                                    Eustis Fair and Corn Show                                    Eustis

Aug. 1-7                                    Valley County Fair                                                  Ord

Aug. 1-8                                    Dakota/Thurston County Fair                                 South Sioux City

Aug. 1-9                                    Box Butte County Fair                                            Hemingford

Aug. 2-8                                    Antelope County Fair                                              Neligh

Aug. 3-8                  `                 Wheeler County Fair                                              Bartlett

Aug. 3-9                                    Kimball/Banner County Fair                                    Kimball

Aug. 4-7                                    Rock County Fair                                                    Bassett

Aug. 4-8                                    Dodge County Fair                                                 Scribner

Aug. 4-8                                    Garden County Fair                                                Lewellen

Aug. 4-8                                    Keith County Fair                                                    Ogallala

Aug. 4-8                                    Sarpy County Fair                                                   Springfield

Aug. 4-8                                    Seward County Fair                                                Seward

Aug. 4-8                                    Stanton County Fair                                                Stanton

Aug. 5-8                                    Frontier County Fair                                                Stockville

Aug. 5-8                                    York County Fair                                                      York

Aug. 6-9                                    Kearney County Fair                                               Minden

Aug. 8-15                                  Chase County Fair and Expo                                  Imperial

Aug. 9-11                                  Greeley County Fair                                                Spalding

Aug. 9-15                                  Arthur County Fair                                                    Arthur

Aug. 9-15                                  Cherry County Fair                                                  Valentine

Aug. 10-14                               Holt County Fair                                                       Chambers

Aug. 11-14                               Cass County Fair                                                     Weeping Water

Aug. 11-14                               Loup County Fair                                                     Taylor

Aug. 11-14                               McPherson County Fair                                           Tryon

Aug. 11-14                               Thayer County Fair                                                   Deschler

Aug. 12-15                               Cuming County Fair                                                 West Point

Aug. 12-14                               Deuel County Fair                                                    Chappell

Aug. 12-15                               Knox County Fair                                                     Bloomfield

Aug. 12-15                               Grant County Fair                                                    Hyannis

Aug. 15-18                               Nemaha County Fair                                                Auburn

Aug. 19-22                               Logan County Fair                                                   Stapleton

Aug. 20-22                               Johnson County Fair                                               Tecumseh

Aug. 20-22                               Keya Paha County Fair                                           Springview

Aug. 27-Sept. 6                        Nebraska State Fair                                                Grand Island


Sept. 3-6                                   Brown County Fair                                                 Johnstown

Sept. 15-18                              Richardson County Fair                                          Humboldt

Note that dates and schedules occasionally change, so check with local sources for more information.

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