[r55] COLUMN: Encouraging Hoosiers to visit the Indiana State Fair (8/1/2014)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Start Date: 8/1/2014 Start Time: 8:30 AM
End Date: 8/1/2014 End Time: 8:30 AM
Encouraging Hoosiers to visit the Indiana State Fair

It’s amazing how fast summer has flown by. I cannot believe that all the county fairs have come to an end, and the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year is right around the corner. But, even though our local fairs are over, our state fair is now underway giving us yet another reason to enjoy summer in Indiana.

In previous years, since the school year typically starts the same time the state fair begins, this used to put 4-H competitors in a tough position. These students would be unable to or have a difficult time attending the state fair because of their school schedule. This past session, the General Assembly passed legislation to help resolve this issue.

Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 114 allows the governing body of a school corporation or a chief administrative officer to excuse students for up to five instructional school days so 4-H students can participate or watch a family member compete in the state fair.

The premise of this legislation was to encourage young Hoosiers to pursue their agricultural interests. Making sure 4-H participants have the opportunity to showcase their hard work through long-term projects provides them an opportunity to grow in many ways. It can help them develop confidence and other life skills that are invaluable and can have a long-term impact on their future. Many of the students also just enjoy working in the state fair’s exciting environment.

Even if you don’t have family members or friends that participate in 4-H activities, I encourage you to take a weekend visit to the state fairgrounds. Champions from across the state bring their award winning animals, crafts and other projects to the state fair. Each project is an impressive feat, which deserves recognition. 

Additionally, the Indiana State Fair always provides a variety of activities to entertain the entire family. Nationally recognized musicians will be performing on the Free Stage including country singer Dustin Lynch and Indiana-native Josh Kauffman, the recent champion of NBC’s television show, “The Voice.” There are also countless shows the whole family can enjoy like the K9 Dog Trick Show, Kachunga and the Alligator and the Flippenout Extreme Trampoline Show. 

Taking the family to the state fair is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy the summer once more before fall is here. When the new season arrives, the weather will get colder and our days will get shorter, so even though it is a little bit of a drive, the state fair is certainly worth the trip.

I hope you get the chance to visit and celebrate our Hoosier heritage at the fair this year. It’s a great way to spend time with friends or family, and I hope to see you there! 


Rep. Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.