This year’s Indiana State Fair is geared up for another 17 days of your favorite midway rides, confections,food, live music and exhibitions. The birth of the state fair started back in the nineteenth century as a way to promote state agriculture through a combination of livestock exhibitions and farming product displays. The industrialization following it’s creation led to the addition to carnival games, amusement rides, racing, entry-based contests, and music that have become guest favorites.
This summer tradition is stock full of interests for any member of your friend or family group. Advance $8 tickets and $5 parking allow for a full day of tradition and innovation. Important ticket benefits for this year’s fair include free entry for children under 8 and free entry on August 10th with the purchase of the IndyStar on August 8th. There is also a free shuttle available from the Indiana State School for the Deaf and additional $5 parking in their lot.
The most interesting feature of the state fair is its ability to appeal seamlessly to the wide spectrum of Americans and visitors. Whether your focus is on farming equipment and agricultural innovations or simply attend for the signature fried food competitors the fair has enough to keep everyone happy. This year’s concert series is included in the cost of tickets, unlike previous years, so locals can enjoy performances by Blue’s Traveler, The Fray, and 38 Special without an additional fee.
Unfortunately, the 11 mile train ride that has become State Fair tradition will not be operational this year due Hoosier Heritage Port Authority’s decision to restrict functioning due to safety concerns. The Indiana Transportation Museum who oversees the train’s operations is very confident that they will have the train up and running for next year’s festivities.
If the food alone is enough motivation to buy a ticket, this year may be your best yet! To celebrate the bicentennial organizers have asked contestants to create new items based on the “rich history of Indiana“. The Taste of the Fair grand championship can be voted on between August 5th-16th using the Indiana State Fair app and the winner will be announced on August 17th.
This year’s creations include brewery Big Wood’s bison cheese steak egg rolls, “Athens” fries (smothered in feta, Greek dressing and more) and deep fried s’mores and cake pops, to name a few. Another exciting first for the Indiana State Fair is the availability of beer, wine and liquor at all 17 of the Free Stage concerts. Fair spokespersons say the reasoning is due to relocation of the concerts from the Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum out to the Free Stage. The designated area of sales and consumption at the Free Stage will further ensure the family-friendly atmosphere of other fairground areas.
What’s your favorite Indiana State Fair experience?