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Nonprofits “yarn bomb” trees for the Nebraska State Fair

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 7:36 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Nebraska State Fair canceled many of its main events and attractions this year, but they’re getting creative with how they’re keeping the community involved with a reduced fair. The activity they came up with is yarn-bombing. They invited local nonprofits in the Grand Island area to decorate trees on State Fair Boulevard. Since then, 35 of them signed up, and folks are decorating like crazy.

For several days the Crane Trust and Conservation Nebraska have been decorating their tree with yarn.

”Three days now,” said Crane Trust Member Billie Herron. “A couple hours each day.”

The theme of their tree is nature, since both organizations fight to preserve it. The plan is to wrap the tree in yarn until all boxes are empty. It will be covered in colorful yarn, butterflies and cranes. They hope to be done soon and will keep decorating until it’s finished.

The idea is to yarn-bomb when folks least expect it.

“All of a sudden the next day, you walk into a place and you arrive somewhere and boom it’s done,” said Laura Hurley, the Sponsorship and Hospitality Director for the Nebraska State Fair.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, many main events and attractions were cancelled. Normally, nonprofits would set up a booth to spread their message, but now it’s off the table. Fair officials believe yarn-bombing gives them the opportunity to still get the word out.

“The connection came to me, we should ask or invite nonprofits to participate, so that we can create a platform to raise awareness and get their message out,” said Hurley.

The organizations can decorate their trees how they want. Grand Island Right to Life, an organization who advocates for pro-life, wanted theirs to represent children as a gift.

“We just wanted to have anything that reminded people of children and kids, pinks, blues and baby blankets,” said Andrea Mack, treasurer of Grand Island Right to Life.

Not only is this activity for organizations to get their word out, it’s also a competition. The nonprofits have until July 31 to finish their trees, and judges have until August 10 to decide the winners. Shortly after, they will award them with prizes.

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