As more rain drenched fairgoers Saturday, the Nebraska State Fair's executive director said shuttles may be the only way in to check out vendors, look at the exhibits, ride the rides and attend concerts this week.

Because of wet grounds, all on-site parking for the fair in Grand Island was closed Saturday. And Lori Cox said it's possible the saturated grass lots could remain closed through the duration of the fair, which runs through Labor Day.

Fair guests are encouraged to instead use the free off-site Fair Express shuttles. Shuttles will run from several sites in Grand Island, including Walmart on Locust Street and parking lots at the former Shopko, Conestoga Mall, Sam’s Club and Central Community College on U.S. 281.

Parking in the Bosselman parking lot off Locust Street at Fonner Park will be available for $10 per vehicle as spots are available.

Cox stressed that while the fair parade Saturday was canceled, most events will go on as scheduled, including concerts indoors at the Heartland Events Center.

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The shuttles run daily from one hour before gates opening through midnight, allowing concertgoers time to get back to their vehicles.

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Cox said fair officials are working to line up additional drivers so they can start the shuttles even earlier, allowing guests better access to cattle shows and other events scheduled to start early in the morning.

Nearly 3 inches of rain have fallen at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport since Thursday. With nearly 10 inches this month, its the wettest August on record in Grand Island, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters said Sunday should be cloudy, but dry, in Grand Island, and sunshine is in the forecast Monday through Thursday. Temperatures will remain below average, with highs in the 70s.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7214 or eclopton@journalstar.com.


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