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The Indiana State Fair: Food, Family, Fun and Games

If you’re an animal lover, 4-H enthusiast, down-home Country music lover, or any of the above, don’t miss this year’s Indiana State Fair. Held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds each year, this seventeen-day-long extravaganza is a celebration of the vibrant farming culture of Indianapolis. One of the biggest Indianapolis events each summer, the Indiana State Fair takes place in late August and offers a whirlwind of fun for all.

While you’re at the Indiana State Fair, take a peek into the livestock barns. Even if you’re not a hog-lover, per say, you’ll want to soak up as much Indianapolis education on the world of farming as you can while you’re there. The barns filled with everything from hogs to steers to thoroughbred horses are an integral part of the history of the fair.

The tractor train at the Indiana State FairThe tractor train at the Indiana State Fair

The Indianapolis kids who have made it through the first round of showing their livestock at their hometown 4-H fairs proudly show off the animals at the Indiana State Fair. These prize-winning kids work long and hard with the animals on categories like showmanship to end up with the coveted blue ribbon.

Eventually, those animals that make it in to the competitive final cut at the Indiana State Fair are sold in the “Sale of Champions,” which is where the best animals from across the board in the swine, sheep, and beef categories are sold to the highest bidder. The money raised, along with the sale of various other items representing the other animal categories, helps 4-H members attend college and purchase breeding animals.

The Ferris Wheel at the Indiana State FairThe Ferris Wheel at the Indiana State Fair

It’s not only animals that are on display at the Indiana State Fair; plenty of other projects also showcase the hard work of 4-H members throughout the state. For instance, you can see beautiful works of Indianapolis art, such as vibrant black-and white photographs displaying the Indiana countryside. Or you can admire an array of intricately sewn garments that range from flowing skirts to floor-length formal attire.

The Indiana State Fair is really all about the kids, as evidenced by the plethora of family-fun activities that take center stage during the seventeen days of action. A wide variety of concerts take place each day to satisfy the Indianapolis music lovers in your group, especially those who like their Country. If you fall into that category, WFMS 955.5 FM has you covered with its Free Stage. Get ready for a honky-tonk good time, for free, at this intimate outdoor venue. Past performers have included big names in Country and Bluegrass such as Miranda Lambert and Rascal Flatts.

A crowd of Hoosiers enjoying the Indiana State FairA crowd of Hoosiers enjoying the Indiana State Fair

For the dance enthusiasts in your group, head on over to the Clarian Dance for Health Stage, where you can get a taste of the Indianapolis performing arts the Circle City has to offer. Indiana cloggers, tap dancers, ballroom professionals, and more take to the stage to entertain the masses each year.

Here in Indy, the Indiana State Fair is a Hoosier institution and an integral part of the history of Indianapolis. Any good fair-goer knows that one of the main reasons to attend is the dizzying array of fried goodies that defines fair time in Indiana. The vendor booths are filled with everything from fried twinkies to hot buttered corn to delicacies from some of the finest restaurants in Indianapolis.

Ice Cream Station at the Indiana State FairIce Cream Station at the Indiana State Fair

After you chow down (and make sure to stay hydrated in the hot sun with that fair staple, a lemon shake-up) you can let loose on the rides at the Indiana State Fair. From giant slides to a tilt-a-whirl, the fair is as good as any carnival in terms of rides and games. You may even head home with a prize, which could include anything from a giant stuffed dog to a real live fish.

The Indiana State Fair is one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the summer and on the list of everyone’s favorite things to do in Indianapolis. Don’t miss out this year; get your tickets now by visiting the official Indiana State Fair website.

Old Fashion drug store at the Indiana State FairOld Fashion drug store at the Indiana State Fair

Cattle barn at the Indiana State Fair

Horse and carriage demonstration at the Indiana State FairHorse and carriage demonstration at the Indiana State Fair

CeCelebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Indiana State FairCelebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Indiana State Fair

The Midway Rides at the Indiana State FairThe Midway Rides at the Indiana State Fair

Grand entrance to the Indiana State FairGrand entrance to the Indiana State Fair

Indiana State Fair
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Mike Woods