For more than 150 years, the best of Hoosier tradition has annually culminated in one event: the Indiana State Fair. Hoosiers from all walks of life have converged each year to celebrate the best of agriculture, innovation, food, family and fun.
In that long history, much has happened. Since the fair's inception in 1852, it has seen visitors such as Presidents Woodrow Wilson, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Hoosiers have been entertained by the likes of Captain Kangaroo, Johnny Cash, the Jackson 5 and the Beatles. Our fair witnessed the use of internal combustion engines in 1876, the advent of telephones in 1877 and the debut of the television in 1938, when 38,000 attendees paid a dime to see the display. Early fair contestants were even awarded for best underwear, best false teeth, best coffin and best hearse.
Throughout all that storied history, one thing has remained constant: Hoosier tradition. When the Indiana General Assembly passed an act in 1851 "to encourage agriculture," a move which led to the Indiana State Fair's creation, they could have only dreamed of the fair's breadth today.
This year's fair promises to be a resounding success. Some of the highlights include:
·The Ball State Agriculture/Horticulture Building, displaying the top 4-H and Open Class horticulture and agriculture exhibits.
·The DuPont Food Pavilion exemplifying Indiana's quality food and promoting more than 40 vendors of its best foods and products.
·The Indiana Soybean Farmers' "Glass Barn," giving visitors and in-depth and interactive look at farming in 2013.
·The new 28,000 square-foot Youth Arena, a focal point for the Livestock Barns' best animals, and various fair events throughout the two-week celebration.
All these exhibits will happen simultaneously with entertainment like the World's Toughest Rodeo, the Indiana State Fair Vocal Throwdown and the Great American Frontier Show.
I encourage you to come to the Indiana Fair Grounds and witness this one-of-a-kind event. In truth, our fair has endured through the years because beyond all the fun and food, this fair is about our community. It's about coming out together to celebrate our state, our traditions, and our plans for our futures together. It's about our collective recognition of where we've been and where we're going. That is something certainly to be proud of.
Visit the State Fair website to learn all there is to know about this year's fair, including tickets, attractions and events. Download the Indiana State Fair app on iTunes or Google Play to navigate food vendors, entertainment and daily happenings. Don't forget to check out deals and discounts during the fair. I'm excited for this year's celebration. I hope to see you there.