Change allows all 4-Hers to enjoy fair’s full flavor
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana State Fair has long been one of the country’s great agricultural fairs, highlighting Hoosiers‘ farming heritage within an exciting atmosphere of food, fun and entertainment. Since 1982, the fair has been a 12-day event traditionally opening on a Wednesday and wrapping up on a Sunday. This year, however, the fair opens for the first time as a 17-day event beginning on Friday, August 7 and running through Sunday, August 23.
Why the change? A few different reasons.
First and foremost, Indiana has a very strong 4-H program that is at the heart of what the State Fair is all about. For the past several years, there have been many 4-H competitions and activities that have taken place prior to the official opening of the State Fair, labeled “Pre-Fair” events. As a result, these competitors and their families received only part of the entire State Fair experience.
With the additional five days, the Pre-Fair events will now be folded into the official fair dates allowing all 4-Hers to not only compete, but also enjoy a full complement of concessionaires, the midway, stage shows and other exhibits. The added days also allow families two more weekend days to attend the fair in the midst of early-August starting dates at hundreds of Indiana’s schools. In addition, with more opportunities to attend the fair, visitors may experience less traffic congestion around the Indiana State Fairgrounds during peak times.
When people arrive at the fair, they will notice a host of new ways to save on admission and concessions. In addition to traditional discounts for veterans, state employees and others, there is now BMV Carload Day Aug. 17 when up to 10 people can enter for $15 with a voucher printed from http://www.mybmv.com/. There’s also $2 Taste of the State Fair Tuesday Aug. 18 when concessionaires will offer $2 samples all day long, and many other great values.
For the third straight year, the fair is celebrating one special agriculture product, and this is the Year of Tomatoes presented by Red Gold®. Hundreds of tomato plants have taken root all over the fairgrounds, and there will be several tomato-related activities, exhibits and events throughout the fair. This year’s Indiana State Fair Signature Food contest required tomatoes to be in the recipe, and the Deep-fried Pizza from Urick Concessions was voted the winner. It will be sold in front of the Grand Hall.
With more days, more savings and tomatoes everywhere, what can fairgoers expect to see? Plenty! Here is just a short list of free featured events and exhibits at this year’s fair:
· Miss America 2009 Katie Stam (Aug. 7)
· Purina® Incredible Dog Challenge® (Aug. 7-8)
· The Stars of the Peking Acrobats
· Timberworks Lumberjack Show
· Hedrick’s Racing Pigs
· Indiana Space Travels
· Celebrating Indiana Communities
· Hoosier Heritage Day with Indiana MusicFest featuring Jon McLaughlin, The Why Store and The Elms presented by metromix.com (Aug. 13)
· A Tribute to the WLS National Barn Dance presented by Prairie Farmer (Aug. 15)
· International Circus Hall of Fame from Peru, Ind. (Aug. 17)
· MC Hammer presented by the Hoosier Lottery (Aug. 20)
· ABATE of Indiana Motorcycle Day presented by Q95(Aug. 21)
· Lucas Oil Demolition Derby and Fireworks presented by ampm (Aug. 23)
That’s a lot of great free entertainment, but it’s still just the tip of the elephant ear. The fair has once again lined up a star-studded, diverse group of musical performers, including these shows in the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand:
· Demi Lovato with Jordan Pruitt presented by VOICE.TV (Aug. 10)
· Sandi Patty’s Broadway with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (Aug. 11)
· MercyMe with Jeremy Camp and Mary Mary presented by the Shepherd Community Center (Aug. 12)
· Kelly Clarkson (Aug. 14)
· Keith Urban with Jason Aldean (Aug. 15)
· Journey with Heart (Aug. 16)
· Jason Mraz with G. Love & Special Sauce and K’naan hosted by Bushwalla (Aug. 18)
· Oak Ridge Boys with Larry Gatlin (Aug. 19)
As if that isn’t enough, the fair is bringing back tractor pulls for the first time in a long time with Lucas Oil Motorsports Weekend featuring the Indy Super Pull presented by Headline® fungicide Aug. 7-8. That’s 17 days jam-packed with exciting events, exhibits and attractions the whole family can enjoy.
In other words, more days mean more fun at this year’s Great Indiana State Fair.