Bucket list: 10 things to try at the Indiana State Fair

A bird’s-eye view shows a crowded evening at the Indiana State Fair.

INDIANAPOLIS — Celebrate summer at the Indiana State Fair Aug. 2-18.

In addition to traditions such as fair food and 4-H exhibits, there are new experiences to try at the fair this year.

Check out our 2019 fair bucket list.

Ten things to try at the State Fair:

1. Honor Indiana’s heroes. A photographic war memorial will be on display, featuring 5,000 servicemen and women and honoring our country’s fallen heroes. The exhibit will be open daily Aug. 2-11.

2. See the circus. Big Top Circus is a free at the fair. It will include acrobats, clowns and trapeze artists performing daring acts. The circus will perform three shows daily, with seating limited to the first 1,600 people per show. Performances will begin at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

3. Taste some wine. Check out the Indiana State Wine and Spirits “Toast of the Fair” competition. Enjoy a glass of the winning wines and whiskeys in the new Indiana State Fair Wine Garden presented by Indiana Grown, located just outside of the Purdue Extension Ag/Hort Building.

4. See a superhero. From Spider-Man to Wonder Woman, your favorite superheroes are taking over the Indiana State Fair in the Harvest Pavilion.

5. Meet a featured farmer. Visitors to the Indiana State Fair can attend a live chat at 2:30 p.m. in the Glass Barn with a featured farmer every day of the fair.

6. Visit the Free Stage. All concerts start at 7:30 p.m. Seating is first come, first served. Artists include Switchfoot on Aug. 7, Boyz II Men on Aug. 14 and a gospel music festival on Aug. 18.

7. Try goat yoga. For $20 on Aug. 4, you can take part in yoga session with adorable goats. Classes begin at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Register online at IndianaStateFair.com.

8. See the historic Swine Barn before it’s demolished after the 2020 fair. A $50-million multi-use facility called “Fall Creek Pavilion” will be erected in its place. This climate-controlled building will be used year-round, including for livestock during the fair. The current swine barn has many issues and does not meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

9. Watch a bee hive demonstration. In celebration of National Bee Day on Aug. 17, there will be a demonstration on how to properly inspect a beehive. Buzz over to Animal Town presented by Indiana Farm Bureau at 4 p.m. to check it out.

10. Eat your way around the fair. New food items will be featured in “Taste of the Fair” — a contest that encourages fairgoers to vote on their favorite new fair food item. Fairgoers can vote at any of the information booths throughout the 17-day fair.

New food items featured at this year’s Indiana State Fair include these five dishes, and many more:

Lamb Taco

A lamb taco is offered by Spectrum Catering and Concessions. It includes flour tortillas filled with Barbacoa lamb and served with pico, lettuce, onion and cilantro. Finish off with cheese, sour cream and a side of salsa.


Poutine will be sold on the Midway this year. Freshly cut Idaho potatoes fried in Maple Leaf Farms duck fat and sprinkled with crispy hickory smoked peppery bacon. Garnished with cheddar curd cheese nuggets and smothered in a special, secret recipe sauce.

BBQ Split

The Indiana Pork BBQ Split is offered by Indiana Pork Producers. It’s served just like a banana split. Prepared in a boat with three delicious scoops of pulled pork, macaroni and cheese and coleslaw. Complete with a pickle on the side.


This dessert is offered by Round Boy’s Concessions. The drinkable dreamsicle is a shakeup, slushy and vanilla shake mash-up. Blended together with fresh squeezed lemons, limes and orange juice, then mixed with homemade simple syrup and French vanilla cream with a splash of water.

Pretzel Poppers

Angry Pretzel Poppers will be sold by J. Wilson Group this year. These poppers feature diced jalapeños mixed in a made-from-scratch dough, then rolled in diced jalapeños. These hotter than hot bites are then baked, buttered and salted. This snack pairs perfectly with a jalapeño ranch dressing.

Erica Quinlan can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 193, or equinlan@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Quinlan.


Load comments