Fish have been displayed at the Nebraska State Fair almost every year since 1885. There was a year, 1898, when there was no funding for displaying fish at the state fair, and in 1976 no fish were displayed because a new aquarium complex was under construction. That complex housed fish every year at the state fair in Lincoln until the fair moved to Grand Island. We have not had fish at the state fair since it moved to Grand Island in 2010 because, well, there was no place for fish. We have heard lots of comments from lots of folks who have missed the fish at the state fair.
Now they will be back. . . .
As the state fair facilities have continued to expand at Grand Island, a new building, the Nebraska Building, was constructed on the west side of the fair grounds. That building will house the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission and University of Nebraska. We have been busily preparing displays and activities the past few months and now it is time, time for the gates to open. I am not going to describe a lot of it, there have already been pictures and descriptions floating around the internet, but I will tell you this: There will be an archery range and an old-fashioned shooting gallery, lots of activities, a water fall, a running stream and yes, THERE WILL BE FISH!
Our new aquarium at the state fair will be portable and we plan to use it for other Game & Parks Commission events. It was built by Living Color Aquariums in Florida, the company featured in National Geographic’s Fish Tank Kings Show. It is a 5,000 gallon aquarium and will feature a variety of fish found in Nebraska waters. The aquarium set up is state of the art, very nice; we are excited to have it.
There are lots of other fine details that I will not tell you about, because I want you to come see it and I want you to be surprised! I think you will like it.
I helped collect a few of the fish that will be displayed at the state fair this week. Big fish are part of the state fair tradition and we are happy to keep that tradition going!