The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, July 28, 2021 1:00 am

Spread-out state fair features new food, fun

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – The Hoosier spirit will be on display for this year's Indiana State Fair, which returns Friday after a COVID-19 hiatus in 2020.

There will be 18 days of 4-H livestock competitions, tasty treats, free concerts and new carnival rides attendees can try.

“We know this year's state fair may look a little different, and we are prepared for that,” said Cindy Hoye, Indiana State Fair Commission executive director. “By adding an additional weekend, it allows us to spread fair attendance across a new weekend. This event matters to our state and our fairgoers. It's an important part of annual Hoosier family traditions.”

The commission has worked with the Indiana Department of Health on guidance to keep fairgoers safe at the mostly-outdoor campus.

While an additional weekend was added to the front end, the fair will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

The Indiana State Fair is the state's largest multiday event celebrating Hoosiers' spirit and agricultural heritage, and has been an annual attraction for generations of Hoosiers since 1852.

One of the highlights of the fair is food and this year has 23 new offerings. They include a beef parfait, bison steak fajitas, buttermilk wafflewich, frozen mocha coffee, a Fruity Pebbles funnel cake or deep-fried cheesecake bites.

In addition to the wacky food, the fair is bringing several new or returning attractions.

The iconic Budweiser Clydesdales are known for their extreme strength and striking appearance, and you can check them out in the daily parade or their stables.

Also this year, the fair will host a double-decker carousel featuring two levels of handcrafted figures, completed with tigers, zebras, and giraffes.

And a fan favorite, the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, returns – featuring lumberjack competitors known throughout the world for their strength, skill, and athletic ability in events like log rolling and ax throwing.

If you go

When: Friday through Aug. 22 (except Mondays and Tuesdays)

Hours: Gates open at 9 a.m. (6:30 a.m. Friday)

Where: Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St., Indianapolis

Cost: Tickets are $13 at the gate, or $10 plus a convenience fee if bought online in advance; ages 5 and younger get in free


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