Yesterday our family enjoyed attending the Nebraska State Fair.  Last year, I did more of a complete wrap-up of our experiences, but this year, I wanted to at least share the highlights of our experience.  These are several things that I was looking forward to seeing when we visited.

The activities …

Nebraska State Fair Activity Collage

I love the fact that our kids can have all sorts of experiences that they do not always get to have.  Riding combines.  Trying out air guns.  Shooting archery.  They also enjoyed trying out the different STEM educational activities.  Getting to walk on the giant map of Nebraska is one of my favorite things.  There is just something about being able to walk across the whole Platte River all the way across the state that helps Nebraska geography to come alive.  I wonder if I could convince my husband that we need a few of those gigantic maps … 🙂

The shows …

Nebraska State Fair Show Collage

Every year we manage to attend several of the shows.  My husband and the kids enjoyed a pirate show, and we all liked watching the calf round-up.  (My apologies to the farmers out there – pretty sure there is a more technical name!)  Our middle son was thrilled with the game show.  The favorite of our family was watching the local BMX bike show.  The group of Nebraska bikers were impressive to watch, and I appreciate the fact that the owners of No Wear BMX out of Unadilla open up their property for kids to train for free.  Yes, for free.  (As a mom, I may even be okay with it??? For one thing, they do all have lots of safety gear even if it is hard to see it in the picture!)  Sometime down the road I am thinking that our kids will want to go check that out in person, so watch for whole blog post on this great group of extreme bike riders.

The Nebraska Products …

Tucked back in the corner of the 4-H building, there are some great booths filled with Nebraska products.  We stocked up on more microwave cheese and jalapeno varieties from Preferred Popcorn.  Learning that longtime family friends are a part of that business was great.  (Hi, Daryl & Jo – so fun to see you!)  Our relatives from Holen One Farms were not at the fair until today – sad to not get to see them this summer.  Thankfully I still have enough of their “Java Rib and Roast Rub.”    (Besides using it frequently as a basic rub, I can’t wait to use it again soon when I roast pumpkin seeds!)  This year I found out about several more great Nebraska companies.

Nebraska Products Collage

Holy Tamole Salsa: Made right here in Lincoln, this all natural salsa just tastes like the garden.  We did discover that the “Seriously Medium” is just enough spice for us – even for my boys who add hot sauce to everything.  Later on, I plan on writing a whole blog post about this company because I was able to meet the lady who started it all.  And because this salsa is seriously nutritious and seriously yummy!

My husband grew up in the same area as  the Balabans Summer Kitchen YummiesHe enjoyed standing there and catching up a bit.  If you are looking for a vast variety of homemade jams as well as several selections of mixes and noodles, you have come to the right place.

Uncle Slappys, out of Hastings, is known for their BBQ sauce.  You can purchase that at various stores around the state.  If you happen to visit them at an event booth, you can also purchase their rub.  Evidently they also have limited production flavors there as well.  Probably not going to tell my kids that they missed buying the Mint Habanero flavor.  Pretty sure that the spicy variety that we purchased will be hot enough.

So glad that we had a family day away at the Fair.  What is your favorite part of attending the Nebraska State Fair?  Please comment below.  For even more suggestions on what to see at the Nebraska State Fair, please check out this post on Oh My! Omaha.

P.S. I finally updated last week’s Wednesday Wrap-up to include the links to the all of the places featured in the NET “Discovering Nebraska” documentary.  Please comment on either this post or the previous ones with which one of the locations you have either visited or hope to go see someday.  Up for grabs is an annual subscription to  Nebraskaland Magazine.  I will finally announce the winner on my Odyssey Through Nebraska Facebook page on Friday.

Author: neodyssey

My name is Gretchen Garrison. I started this blog about Nebraska in 2013. So far, I have written three books about Nebraska and Lincoln.