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If you go
What: Indiana State Fair
When: Today through Aug. 19; gates open at 8 a.m.
Where: Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis
Cost: $10 for adults; free for children 5 and younger
To learn more: Daily schedules and full information can be found at www.indianastatefair.com
Associated Press
Preparations for the opening of the Indiana State Fair were going on Wednesday at the Midway on the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

State Fair readying for 1st day

Last year’s tragedy spurs new precautions

Associated Press
Sam Coffman of Wabashworks late Wednesday night to get his elephant ear stand ready for today’s opening of the Indiana State Fair.

– The 156th Indiana State Fair kicks off today with some fan favorites alongside new events and activities.

“We’re eager to show all Hoosiers the best time they’ve ever had,” State Fair Executive Director Cindy Hoye said. “We’ve added so many high quality events to this fair that it’s going to be hard for us to ever top it. We hope everyone can attend at least one day and, hopefully, even more.”

The three-week affair will not ignore last year’s tragedy, in which stage rigging collapsed in a severe storm killing seven people.

At the one-year anniversary of the exact time the strong winds knocked over scaffolding – 8:46 p.m. Aug. 13 – all rides, games and music will cease for a moment of silence.

Fair officials also have tightened emergency preparations this year, including how to handle severe weather.

Those who usually enjoy major concerts at the fair will have to head to downtown Indianapolis. The fair’s headline concerts – including Barry Manilow, Train, Blake Shelton and Journey – will take place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, about 10 minutes away from the fairgrounds.

Everyone who goes to these shows also receives a free ticket to the State Fair that is good for any of the fair’s 17 days.

Concerts will eventually return to the fairgrounds after the Pepsi Coliseum has been renovated. Smaller acts will still be on the free stage at the fairgrounds.

Attending the fair more than one day has become a little easier on Hoosiers’ budgets thanks to a new multi-day admission pass. The $18 ticket is good for one admission on three different days, which is a $12 savings off the gate admission price.

Single-day attendance, however, has become more expensive – jumping from $8 for adults to $10. Advance tickets are $7.

It is also the “Year of Dairy Cows,” presented by the American Dairy Association of Indiana, which has all kinds of special exhibits and events in store for visitors. There’s even a new “Moo Chew” meal of grilled American and Pepper Jack cheese with a Lemon Chiller milkshake at the Dairy Bar on Main Street.

Other attractions include the band competition, Monster Truck Nationals, various livestock competitions, Great American Wild West Show, the International SuperDogs and an extreme trampoline show.

Also, don’t forget to enjoy the Midway rides or some not-so-good-for-you fair cuisine – including this year’s signature food.

Spaghetti Ice Cream features spaghetti-shaped Italian ice cream with strawberry “tomato sauce,” shaved white chocolate “cheese” and chocolate “meatballs.” The cost is $5.

nkelly@jg.net

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