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Slice of Nebraska life at county fairs

Summer is nearly here, so here is a listing of county fairs coming up in every corner of Nebraska.

Curt Arens, Editor, Nebraska Farmer

May 21, 2024

4 Min Read
Youth showing cattle at county fair
RURAL LIFE: Youth contests, exhibits and shows — including livestock shows — are a big part of every county fair, giving urban and rural residents alike a taste of farm life. Photos by Curt Arens

It’s a slice of rural life. That’s what a county fair is. If you are looking for an ag literacy festival on a grand scale, Nebraska’s county fairs celebrate agriculture and rural life in the best way possible.

While the focus is often on youth in the county, through 4-H and FFA competitions, shows, displays and exhibits, residents of all ages and multiple generations enjoy these big family reunions each summer — the rodeos, concerts, tractor pulls and, of course, the fair food.

Nebraska Farmer has compiled a relatively complete listing of county fairs in all corners of the state from data available through the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers and Nebraska Extension.

Youth taking place in a contest at the county fair

Please keep in mind that some counties report the dates of their fairs differently, to include or exclude pre-fair activities, and because of other variables on a county-by-county basis. It is always a good idea to look to social media platforms or websites available in each county to obtain the latest details on the county fairs in your region. We’ve broken the fair listings down by regions, to make it easy to find the fairs you will want to attend.

From Richardson County in the southeast, up to the northwest in Sioux County, and from Dakota County in the northeast, down to Dundy and Kimball counties in the southwest and southern Panhandle, respectively, here is our statewide list for 2024:

Panhandle                                                                                           

  • Box Butte County Fair, Aug. 6-11, Hemingford

  • Cheyenne County Fair and Rodeo, July 20-27, Sidney

  • Dawes County Fair, July 26-Aug. 2, Chadron

  • Deuel County Fair, Aug. 8-13, Chappell

  • Garden County Fair and Rodeo, July 31-Aug. 4, Lewellen

  • Kimball-Banner County Fair, Aug. 5-10, Kimball

  • Morrill County Fair, July 20-27, Bridgeport

  • Scottsbluff County Fair, July 29-Aug. 3, Scottsbluff

  • Sheridan County Fair and Rodeo, July 19-27, Gordon

  • Sioux County Fair, July 26-Aug. 4, Harrison

North

  • Arthur County Fair, Aug. 5-12, Arthur

  • Blaine County Fair, July 6-10, Dunning

  • Boyd County Fair, July 24-27, Spencer

  • Brown County Fair, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, Johnstown

  • Cherry County Fair, Aug. 5-11, Valentine

  • Garfield County Fair, July 23-27, Burwell

  • Grant County Fair and Rodeo, Aug. 7-11, Hyannis

  • Holt County Fair, Aug. 5-10, Chambers

  • Hooker County Fair, July 31-Aug. 8, Mullen

  • Keya Paha County Fair, Aug. 17-19, Norden

  • Logan County Fair, July 28-Aug. 3, Stapleton

  • Loup County Fair, Aug. 7-10, Taylor

  • McPherson County Fair, Aug. 8-10, Tryon

  • Rock County Fair, July 30-Aug. 3, Bassett

  • Thomas County Fair, July 24-30, Thedford

  • Wheeler County Fair and Rodeo, July 29-Aug. 4, Bartlett

Northeast

  • Antelope County Fair, July 29-Aug. 4, Neligh

  • Boone County Fair, July 6-10, Albion

  • Burt County Fair, July 19-23, Oakland

  • Cedar County Fair, July 17-21, Hartington

  • Cuming County Fair, Aug. 8-11, West Point

  • Dakota-Thurston County Fair, July 31-Aug. 4, South Sioux City

  • Dixon County Fair, July 5-10, Concord

  • Knox County Fair, Aug. 8-11, Bloomfield

  • Madison County Fair, July 9-14, Madison

  • Pierce County Fair, July 24-28, Pierce

  • Stanton County Fair, Aug. 1-4, Stanton

  • Wayne County Fair, July 25-28, Wayne

East

  • Butler County Fair, July 9-14, David City

  • Cass County Fair, Aug. 7-10, Weeping Water

  • Colfax County Fair, July 18-21, Leigh

  • Dodge County Fair, July 30-Aug. 4, Fremont

  • Douglas County Fair, July 12-14, Ralston

  • Hamilton County Fair, July 25-28, Aurora

  • Lancaster County Fair, Aug. 1-10, Lincoln

  • Merrick County Fair, July 27-31 , Central City

  • Nance County Fair, June 28-30, Fullerton

  • Platte County Fair, July 10-14, Columbus

  • Polk County Fair, July 17-21, Osceola

  • Sarpy County Fair, July 31-Aug. 4, Springfield

  • Saunders County Fair, July 28-Aug. 4, Wahoo

  • Seward County Fair, Aug. 8-11, Seward

  • Washington County Fair, July 26-31, Arlington

  • York County Fair, Aug. 1-4, York

Southeast

  • Clay County Fair, July 10-13, Clay Center

  • Fillmore County Fair, July 5-8, Geneva

  • Gage County Fair, July 26-28, Beatrice

  • Johnson County Fair, Aug. 17-19, Tecumseh

  • Jefferson County Fair, July 10-14, Fairbury

  • Nemaha County Fair, Aug. 11-14, Auburn

  • Otoe County Fair, July 25-28, Syracuse

  • Pawnee County Fair, July 15-21, Pawnee City

  • Nuckolls County Fair, July 29-Aug. 3, Nelson

  • Richardson County Fair, Sept. 11-14, Humboldt

  • Saline County Fair, July 16-21, Crete

  • Thayer County Fair, Aug. 7-10, Deshler

South

  • Adams County Fairfest, July 17-21, Hastings

  • Franklin County Fair, July 9-14, Franklin

  • Furnas County Fair, July 17-20, Beaver City

  • Gosper County Fair, July 24-27, Elwood

  • Harlan County Fair, July 21-27, Orleans

  • Kearney County Fair, July 19-21, Minden

  • Phelps County Fair, July 21-25, Holdrege

  • Webster County Fair and Rodeo, July 25-27, Bladen

Central

  • Buffalo County Fair, July 24-29, Kearney

  • Custer County Fair, July 26-Aug. 1, Broken Bow

  • Dawson County Fair, July 17-21 , Lexington                  

  • Greeley County Fair, Aug. 5-7, Spalding

  • Hall County Fair, July 17-21, Grand Island

  • Howard County Fair, July 13-17 , St. Paul

  • Sherman County Fair, July 20-24, Loup City

  • Valley County Fair, July 28-Aug. 3, Ord

Southwest

  • Chase County Fair, Aug. 11-17, Imperial

  • Dundy County Fair, July 24-27, Benkelman

  • Frontier County Eustis Fair/Corn Show, Aug. 4-10, Eustis

  • Frontier County Stockville Fair, July 24-28, Stockville

  • Hayes County Fair, July 30-Aug. 3, Hayes Center

  • Hitchcock County Fair, July 17-20, Culbertson

  • Keith County Fair, July 29-Aug. 4, Ogallala

  • Lincoln County Fair, July 24-28, North Platte

  • Perkins County Fair, July 14-20 Grant

  • Red Willow County Fair, July 24-28, McCook

Statewide

  • Nebraska State Fair, Aug. 23-Sept. 2, Grand Island        

NOTE:  Check county fair and Nebraska Extension websites for schedule details and up-to-date listings.

Source: Nebraska Association of Fair Managers and Nebraska Extension

Read more about:

State Fair

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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