"We are catching peoples' attention out here and they want to be part of the Nebraska State Fair." -State Fair Executive Director Joseph McDermott
People from all over the state converged on Central Nebraska for the last ten days.
And, while it was a fun and exciting week for fairgoers, state fair officials have their work cut out.
They say they're already looking ahead to next year.
Right in line with this year's theme, attendance at this year's state fair was also high flying.
The nearly 337,000 people passing through the fairground's gates made it a record year.
"We're very pleased with this number as rain and extreme temperatures worked against us on two or three occasions during the fair," State Fair Executive Director Joseph McDermott said.
According to survey results, the biggest portion of those visitors call Central Nebraska home.
"We asked fairgoers: where do you come from? 29% said Grand Island, but 30% said Central Nebraska," State Fair Board Chairperson Jana Kruger said.
Despite drought, heat and even some rain, attendance jumped almost 4,000 from last year.
Given the weather, officials say they're especially happy with the turnout.
"All in all 2012 was a great year and we look forward to making it better for 2013," McDermott said.
One of the big highlights for the year was the Skytram.
McDermott said tickets topped 30,000 for the ride.
With the numbers showing that high flying fun was a huge success, the star attraction for next year is already in the works.
Big changes for next year include Midway, the amusement portion of the fair. It will now be managed by the number three provider in the fair world, Wade Shows.
McDermott said the changes will be significant.
"We are catching peoples' attention out here and they want to be part of the Nebraska State Fair," he said.
Changing and improving is all in line to keep attendance and approval numbers high.
"We know where we need to do work, because it's the Nebraska State Fair," Kruger said. "We want people to come from all corners of the state."
McDermott said another big addition may also be in the works.
He said officials and board members have discussed a new building on the fairgrounds.
But, Mcdermott said that would be sometime down the road.