State Fair parking lot improvements on the way

1868 Foundation raising funds
Project aims to improve parking at Nebraska State Fair
Project aims to improve parking at Nebraska State Fair(Nebraska State Fair)
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 11:05 AM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Nebraska State Fair announced Phase One of the 2020 Rock the Lot Improvement Project on Thursday. This project improves the drive lanes for access into 1000 POV parking stalls on six acres of grass surface parking that is closest to the west side of the Pinnacle Bank Expo Center at Fonner Park.

The 2019 Nebraska State Fair was severely burdened by an exceptionally wet August. The Fair was forced to rely on buses to bring exhibitors, volunteers, attendees, and even some staff members to the Fairgrounds from off-site parking locations. “That alternative plan to get people to the Fairgrounds did work in 2019, but it was at a significant financial cost to the Nebraska State Fair,” said Bill Ogg, Executive Director of the Nebraska State Fair.

The Nebraska State Fair and Fonner Park Boards agree that use of the grass parking lots can be a major concern when heavy precipitation falls before or during a major event like livestock shows, the State Fair, Aksarben, and other events at Fonner Park.

Ground surveying and grading is scheduled to begin in early October, 2020.

Fundraising for Phase One of the Rock the Lot project was approved by the Nebraska State Fair 1868 Foundation Board of Directors. In accepting the Phase One Project, the 1868 Foundation agreed to raise funds up to $92,000.00. Grow Grand Island plans to provide a significant grant to kick off the fundraising efforts for Phase One of the Rock the Lot project.

“We believe this improvement is crucial to the continued success of the Fair and hope to have funding in place to begin the project very soon.” The 1868 Foundation is currently recruiting financial support for Phase 1 of the Rock the Lot Project. “We know our friends throughout the community will see the importance of this improvement and will get on board with a financial contribution to support this effort,” said Koepke.

“Community investment in Rock the Lot phases will allow the State Fair, Aksarben Stock Show, GILCA Livestock Shows, Live Horse Racing, and other Fonner Park events increased assurance that parking will be less of a challenge with rocked drive lanes in the grass parking lot,” said Ogg.

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