The 17-day fair began Friday and runs through August 21. Last year was the first year the state fair extended the number of days for the fair, which attracted more than 900,000 people. Needless-to-say, the extension was a success so they continued that new tradition this year.
We will be celebrating the "Year of the Soybean" this year, showcasing Indiana's $2.5 billion industry and the farmers who grow soybeans. Hoosiers can celebrate with numerous interactive displays, fun activities and, my personal favorite, the fabulous fair food. As voted on by Hoosiers, the signature soybean dish to be showcased this year will be deep-fried ice cream.
If the food isn't reason enough to visit the fair this year, the many attractions might catch your interest. The Grand Stand will feature Sugarland, Maroon 5, Lady Antebellum and Indiana's own Janet Jackson, to name a few.
They will also have several new exhibits worth checking out. Germany will be featured in the International Pavilion this year, which will be an ideal backdrop for the millions of Hoosiers that come from German heritage. The "Willkommen to Germany!" exhibit boasts great German food and traditions. I encourage you to check it out.
You can also watch the "Priefert Percherons" from Mt. Pleasant, Texas. This team of beautiful Percheron Draft horses always put on a good show as they showcase their amazing moves in the Pepsi Coliseum.
For those of you that like a little excitement during your fair visit, check out the Timberworks Lumberjack Show, featuring world-class lumberjacks competing in axe throwing, speed pole climbing and the ever-popular log rolling. There will also be the Monster Truck Nationals, Lucas Oil Indy Demolition Derby and Super Pull and the Hoosier Rodeo Series Finals.
The State Fair has something for everyone this year. But if I haven't convinced you yet, you can visit the State Fair's website at http://www.in.gov/statefair/ and see a complete guide to all of the fair activities. Admission is $7 in advance and $8 at the gate. Kids ages five and under are free. Discounted tickets can be purchased at Wal-mart, CVS and Indiana Farm Bureau offices.
I hope to see you out there! It may be hot outside, but it will still be a great time at the Indiana State Fair.