Hours for Nebraska State Fair Carnival

August 27-28 open at 11am (wristbands $35)

August 29-September 1 open at 1pm (wristbands $30)

September 2-5 opens at 11am (wristbands $35)


‘Star Trek’ ride among new thrills coming to Nebraska State Fair carnival

enterprise carnival ride

When the Nebraska State Fair returns Aug. 26 through Sept. 5, the carnival might just take fairgoers where no fairgoers have gone before, at least according to Frank Zaitshik, President of Wade Shows. 

“We are bringing attractions that you just don’t see at a county fair or even most state fairs,'' he explained. “We have all struggled during the pandemic and wanted the carnival to be better than ever, a return to normal - and beyond,” he added. Wade Shows is the fair’s long-time carnival provider.

“While we know the Nebraska State Fair celebrates agriculture, the carnival is always a major attraction,” said Bill Ogg, Nebraska State Fair executive director. “We’re excited to see what is new this year.”

The Wade Shows Carnival 2022 will have three newer attractions: the Enterprise, the Mega Drop and the Cliff Hanger.

The Enterprise, made by classic amusement ride manufacturer Huss and named after the USS Enterprise from the “Star Trek” TV show, is one of the largest rides of the carnival, holding 40 people at a time, with two people in each gondola. The ride begins in a clockwise rotation before being lifted in the air by a hydraulic arm to an 87 degree angle. The ride goes from round and round like a merry-go-round to almost straight up and down like a Ferris Wheel. With its high speeds, extreme height and breathtaking lights, the ride is a fair favorite. 

Rising 120 feet The Mega Drop is the largest portable Drop Tower in the country. The car rises on the tower to the full height before free falling back to a safe stop below. The feel of weightlessness, coupled with the anticipation of the drop is a thrill ride lovers keep coming back for, time and time again. 

For those who may prefer more moderate thrill level rides, a new ride called the Cliff Hanger will be making its Nebraska State Fair debut. Made to simulate the motion and sensation of hang gliding, this ride gives just enough thrills for adventurers of all ages. Lying face down on the cars, you move around before tilting and flying higher in the air.

Zaitshik said the Nebraska State Fair carnival will also have plenty of rides for the kids and old time favorites such as the Spider, the Swings and the bumper cars. 

“We try to bring plenty of amusements for all ages, from the most spectacular thrill rides, such as our Crazy Mouse coaster and Mega Drop, to rides for the entire family. The Wade Shows Carnival at the Nebraska State Fair will truly have something for everyone.”

Rides at the carnival require between 3 and 5 tickets. Tickets can be purchased at the carnival. Prices are 5 for $6, 25 for $25, or 55 for $50. Unlimited access wristbands are available for $26 in advance, or $30 at the Fair. 

“The wristbands are among the most popular items we sell,” Ogg said.