The Cornhusker State Games is a statewide amateur sports festival for all Nebraskans. The purpose of the Games is to provide top-quality amateur competition in a wide range of activities. The week-long festival is held annually the third week of July at more than 70 sites. More than 2,500 volunteers are involved in the Games.
The first Cornhusker State Games in 1985 offered 19 sports and attracted 4,000 participants. In 2007, the 23rd year of operation, the Cornhusker State Games attracted 12,066 entrants in 59 competitive and participation sports. Participants came from 81 counties; the oldest official entrant was 88, the youngest 159 days.
Besides offering a wide range of competitions -- from traditional Olympic sports such as track and field, gymnastics and swimming, Nebraskans' competitive interests are served by less demanding events such as horseshoe pitching, volkswalk and chess.
The Games is preceded each year by a three-week statewide promotional torch run involving more than 700 runners and local observances in 10 communities along the route. Other Games activities include an Olympic-style opening ceremonies and a Family Fest, which includes a free meal and a host of activities for participants and the general public. Other outreach programs include an annual $5,000 scholarship program and a sports injury treatment clinic for medical practitioners.