I love the Indiana State Fair! I went a few times as a child. It was such a treat to search out my 4-H projects and see all the unusual things you didn’t find just anywhere.
As an adult, I go almost every year. Why not? The fair is an affordable treat (check out $2 Tuesdays and other deals), and it’s just fun. Since it’s in Indianapolis, the fair is accessible within a couple of hours from anywhere in the state.
Here are my top 5 must-sees at the Indiana State Fair:
The fair is an animal lover’s paradise. There are cows, pigs, rabbits, and more in the 4-H animals buildings. But the furry friends don’t end there. There’s a butterfly garden, and a petting area with baby goats you can feed. I found these friendly dogs in the Angie’s List State Fair Gardens.
2. Old Stuff
Things are changing fast in today’s world — too fast for my tastes, and I expect for a few others’ as well. Sometimes it’s refreshing to just step back a few decades and enjoy the charms of a simpler time. You’ll find vintage life in spades at the Indiana State Fair. The Normandy Barn is charming …
… as is a 1930s kitchen.
You can even watch farmers out working, using old-time equipment. It’s fun to hop into a time machine for an hour or so.
3. Hoosier Goods
Maybe some other states have giant pumpkin contests, but it does seem to be a Hoosier hallmark.
Be sure to check out the Farm Bureau Building for a great selection of made/baked-in-Indiana goods. They make wonderful gifts for out-of-state friends.
4. Free Stuff
Everybody loves getting a deal, or coming across freebies. You’ll not be let down on that score at the Indiana State Fair! I found free ice cream given out courtesy of Turkey Hill, just southeast of the Grandstand.
At Dow AgroSciences Celebration Park, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market offered a tented area full of fresh fruit, free for the taking (I snagged a delicious apple). Next door to that, my sister signed up for a $10 subscription to the Indianapolis Star — and got a $10 grocery gift card for doing it. What a deal!
5. Amazing Food
Of course, no state fair is complete without an amazing array of foods. My favorite, and the item I’ve purchased for years, is shown here — the strawberry shortcake from the Purdue Extension Ag/Horticulture Building. Ice cream, biscuit, strawberries — it’s totally delicious!
My sister enjoyed a “shake” at the Dairy Bar, where you can get a huge amount of refreshing soft serve for just $3. No wonder the lines are long!
If you really feel like livin’ on the edge, take advantage of Deep Fried Oreos, Deep Fried Reese’s, or maybe a Doughnut Burger.
What’s your favorite thing about the Indiana State Fair?