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Take a drive to Grand Island for this year's Nebraska State Fair
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Take a drive to Grand Island for this year's Nebraska State Fair

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From racing pigs and a comedy stunt show to daily parades and plenty of fried foods, the Nebraska State Fair has something for everyone.

The 2021 Nebraska State Fair kicks off Friday, Aug. 27, and continues through Monday, Sept. 6, in Grand Island.

The fairgrounds are open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the exception of Monday, Aug. 30, when they will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Monday, Sept. 6, when the hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Daily gate admission for adults (ages 13-59) is $12 on weekends (Friday through Sunday) and $6 Monday through Thursday. Seniors 60 and over are admitted for $5 while children ages 6-12 receive admission for $3. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free every day of the fair.

Strolling performances, a carnival midway, and exhibits, displays and presentations make up the multitude of entertainment options at the fair.

High school marching bands also get to be part of the festivities.

Fremont Bergan’s marching band will perform at 10:15 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, following the fair’s opening ceremony. The Cedar Bluffs Wildcat Marching Band is set to play at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28.

The Wahoo Neumann and Arlington marching bands will be performing at 10:15 a.m. Monday, Aug. 30, and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, respectively.

The state fair also is welcoming several concerts to this year’s fair.

“We are incredibly excited to bring large acts back to the Nebraska State Fair,” said Bill Ogg, executive director of the Nebraska State Fair. “The diversified genre of talent presented this year should deliver a memorable experience to all concert fans.”

The Happy Together Tour, which will occur on Older Nebraskans Day at the fair, will bring some of the original iconic bands and musicians of the 1960s on stage. Acts include The Turtles, The Classics IV, The Cowsills, The Association, The Vogues, along with Gary Puckett & The Union Gap.

The Happy Together Tour concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30, inside the Heartland Event Center. Tickets are $15.

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The Nebraska State Fair and 40 North Tap + Grille are partnering to present two back-to-back concerts.

Skid Row and Warrant will take the Heartland Events Center stage on Tuesday, Aug. 31, with doors opening at 6 p.m. Warrant will perform at 7 p.m., followed by Skid Row at 9 p.m.

Skid Row hit the American music scene in the mid-‘80s and is best known for songs such as “I Remember You,” “18 And Life” and “Youth Gone Wild.”

Warrant produced hits including “Down Boys,” “Sometimes She Cries,” “Heaven” and “Cherry Pie.”

A $40 general admission ticket lets you sit or stand wherever you want, while a $60 ticket gets you into the pit right next to the stage.

Actor Kevin Costner and his band, Modern West, also will be performing in Grand Island.

Modern West will be playing the greatest hits from Costner’s TV show, “Yellowstone.” The “Tales from Yellowstone Tour” will feature popular songs such as “Won’t Stop Loving You” and “The Man I Am.”

This outdoor concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2.

The two other outdoor concerts at this year’s fair will feature Banda Los Sebastianes and Jon Pardi. Both concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 3 and Sept. 4, respectively.

Banda Los Sebastianes is a Latin Grammy award-winner. The Mazatlán based group will perform their current Regional Mexico Chart Billboard No. 1 hit, “Sin Miedo Al Éxito” (“Fear Without Success”), a song about fighting for one’s dreams without being afraid of success, and “El Campeón de los Borrachos” (“The Champion of Drunkards”), which tells the story of a man suffering from love gone wrong.

Pardi is known for hits, “Head Over Boots” and “Up All Night.” The ACM/CMA award-winning artist recently released country radio single, “Tequila Little Time,” the follow up to his Platinum-certified No. 1 song, “Heartache Medication” and his Billboard Top 5, “Ain’t Always The Cowboy.”

Ticket prices for each of the three outdoor state fair concerts are $21 for general admission and $31 in the pit area. Concert tickets can be purchased online at

University of Nebraska President Ted Carter and wife Lynda Carter speak about the ice cream flavor named in Ted's honor at the UNL Dairy Store on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.


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