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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The State Fair is here

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Giant corndogs, funnel cakes, rib-eye steak sandwiches, fresh corn, lemon shake-ups, pork tenderloins, massive pigs, a room full of llamas, skee ball, ferris wheel rides and sell out concerts…ladies and gentlemen, the Indiana State Fair is here!

This year, the fair has added five more days to eat, play games, visit exhibitions, ride rides and see world famous musical acts. Opening day is Aug. 7 with ending festivities on Aug. 23.

New this year is the Lucas Oil Motorsports weekend featuring the Indy Super Pull; Indiana’s own, Miss America 2009 Katie Stam; and the Stars of the Peking Acrobats.

“It’s a special year for your Great Indiana State Fair,” said Andy Klotz, publicity and media relations manager, Indiana State Fair.

Many welcome the fair’s growth and expansion but what will always stay the same is the fun and food. Fairgoers can eat to their hearts desire (or until heartburn strikes) deep-fried twinkies, deep-fried green beans, and chocolate covered bacon.

“To be honest, when I first heard of chocolate covered bacon, I thought it was the stupidest idea ever,” said Dennis Rease of Carousel Concessions. “But, people really like it. It’s such a novelty item, and they love the sweet and salty flavor.”

Another special item is the deep-fried pizza. This hand tossed pizza dough deep-fried and topped with pizza sauce and grated cheese is a part of the fair’s celebration of the Year of Tomatoes presented by Red Gold. There will be several tomato-related activities, exhibits and events throughout the fair in celebration of the special agricultural product.

Fairgoers come for the food, but there’s more in store this year. The Purina Incredible National Dog Challenge to be seen on ABC and ESPN, Hendrick’s Racing Pigs and an antiques fair are just a few of the festivities going on at this year’s Indiana State Fair.

Attendees are encouraged to take a moment to enjoy the Celebrating Indiana Communities exhibit. The idea is to support culture, commerce and tourism from all regions of the state. Each day will pay homage to one of Indiana’s eight regions.

“This is a great way for Hoosiers to learn about all of our state’s tremendous assets,” said Cindy Hoye, State Fair executive director. “We think visitors from all over Indiana will feel a real sense of pride when they see displays from their own backyards featured for everyone to see.”

The Indiana State Fair is also chronicling Hoosiers’ space contributions with “Indiana’s Space Travels” exhibit. The exhibit begins in 1895 with the nation’s first airmail delivery by hot air balloon, to profiling individual Hoosiers who have made significant contributions at NASA.

The fair is also introducing patrons to the future of energy with a special Alternative Energy Exhibit.

“The purpose of the exhibit is to help people better understand the concept and functionality of alternative energy,” said Justin Armstrong, State Fair education department manager. “This is no longer ‘space-age’ technology. Using alternative energy in residential settings is happening now and should only continue to grow as technology advances and more Americans look to conserve our planet’s natural resources.”

Indiana State Fair officials have gone above and beyond giving fairgoers the ultimate fair experience. With fun, food and education in mind, they haven’t forgotten about Hoosiers’ wallets.

There will be free admission tickets Monday, Aug. 10 at the Indianapolis Star, 307 N. Pennsylvania; free admission for military personnel and their families Aug. 16; $2 taste of the State Fair and $2 Delta SkyMiles on Aug. 18; Farmers’ Day lunch deal for downtown workers on Aug. 19 among other savings packages.

For more information, call (317) 927-7500 or visit www.in.gov/statefair.

Save at the Fair!

n Buy fair admission tickets in advance and save $1. Advance tickets are $7 when purchased from Indiana Walmart stores, CVS/pharmacy stores, Indiana Farm Bureau offices, the Marten House Hotel or the Indiana State Fairgrounds Box Office.

n Take advantage of free parking in the fairgrounds’ Best Way Disposal infield and the Indiana School for the Deaf on 42nd St.

n Save gas and time and get free parking and free shuttle rides with the State Fair Park & Ride from Glendale Mall.

n Seniors can ride the tractor shuttle around the fairgrounds for just $3 a day with a wristband purchased from State Fair Information Booths. Seniors ride free on Aug. 18.

Russ Parr Bus Tour 2009

The Russ Parr Bus Tour will be coming to the Indiana State Fairgrounds Bandstand Monday, Aug. 10 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Music artists include Young Verge, G.B. Da Fly Boi, Nappyville, Ace Hood, Letoya, Yo Gotti, Hurricane Kris, and Lil Boosie.

For more information, visit www.russparrbustour.com.

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