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Grand Island to host livestock show in January in place of Denver National Western Stock Show

Grand Island to host livestock show in January in place of Denver National Western Stock Show

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Behind the livestock barns at Fonner Park Saturday was a sea of pickups and stock trailers from 14 states, all in attendance of the Aksarben Stock Show in Grand Island. (Independent/Robert Pore)

With the postponement of the National Western Stock Show typically held at Denver in January, a one-year alternative livestock show is being planned to be held in January 2021 at Fonner Park in Grand Island.

The Grand Island Livestock Complex Authority, Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele and The Nebraskan Livestock Show group have announced plans to develop a show that will begin on Jan. 9, with the intent to match the schedule of the anticipated National Western dates to accommodate the plans already in place within the beef cattle industry.

The National Western Stock Show Board of Directors announced Sept. 15 that the 115th National Western Stock Show in Denver would be postponed until 2022 due to the rules relating to the pandemic in Colorado.

“Our National Western Stock Show leadership is supportive of Grand Island stepping in and creating a new event to provide an outlet for cattle producers across the country who may have been planning to come to our show in January,” said Paul Andrews, president and CEO of the National Western Stock Show.

“When asked if they could assist in some way, we saw this as a chance to support those cattle producers in need of exhibiting. We will provide livestock panels and consulting services to help Grand Island show staff streamline their show schedule to best replicate what ranchers and cattle exhibitors would have experienced this January in Denver.”

“COVID-19 has been brutal for all of us in the United States and the livestock industry has not gone untouched,” said Bill Ogg, executive director of the Nebraska State Fair and lead contact for this effort. “The National Western Stock Show has an incredibly rich tradition that has not escaped the wrath of the pandemic and these unprecedented times. With our experience with numerous junior national shows who already hold their events in Grand Island, we know the Fonner Park campus is an excellent site that meets the exhibitors’ and vendors’ requirements that would normally be at the National Western.”

Ogg said the Grand Island site will give exhibitors the opportunity to exhibit, promote, market and sell their various breeds of livestock at the Nebraskan Livestock Show.

The Grand Island Livestock Complex Authority includes the Nebraska State Fair, Fonner Park, Grand Island Chamber of Commerce and Grand Island Tourism. As GILCA and the Nebraskan Livestock Show group continue to make plans for the January show, more information will be made available.

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