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home : columnists : columnists August 21, 2017

8/4/2017 4:00:00 AM
Sky's the limit On new Fair ride
The Times photo by Betsy ReasonA new Suburu Skyride takes visitors high above the Indiana State Fair, which opens today for its 17-day run.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason

A new Suburu Skyride takes visitors high above the Indiana State Fair, which opens today for its 17-day run.

By Betsy Reason

The Indiana State Fair opens today with a new ride that will allow visitors to see the sights from high above the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to board the new Suburu Skyride on Thursday during State Fair Media Day.

It was a sweet, smooth ride that takes visitors from the former State Fair Gift Shop location near the Midway entrance and travels high above the crowd over Main Street, and behind the Hoosier Lottery Grand Stand and east to the Swine Barn and Kiddie Land Midway, near the Binford Avenue entrance of the State Fairgrounds.

The 90-chair aerial lift is just like a ski lift and has a safety bar for passengers, and it travels 35 feet above the ground over the span of 1,400 feet.

While the ride is a continuous loop, visitors board from either end and pay $5 per person or four Midway tickets to travel one way down Main Street, with tickets available at any Midway ticket booth.

The west boarding area of the Skyride is, as I mentioned, the former location of the State Fair Gift Shop, which was torn down to make way for the Skyride. The gift shop has moved inside of the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, at least for the 2017 State Fair.

During my visit, I joined dozens of other media outlets for a Taste of the Fair tour that invited us to ride the State Fair tram around the grounds with stops at various State Fair food booths. This year's State Fair celebrates the "Wonderful World of Food," with 17 foods celebrated each of the 17 days of the State Fair, which continues through Aug. 20.

During my visit, I sampled Deep Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly, Buffalo Chicken Gyros, Peanut Butter Pineapple Pork Burger, Dirty Tots, Corn Dog Split and a Mini Funnel Cake Strawberry Shortcake. There was also Deep Fried BBQ Bacon, Cattlemen's Choice Sandwich, Root Beer Float Shakes and a Traditional Egg Cream Soda. All were sample sizes but enough to fill a belly. It was difficult to choose a favorite because every food item was oh, so good. But the Deep Fried PB&J was one of my favorites. Next goaround, I will opt out on the Dirty Tots so I can try the Dirty Hippy Tots, which substitute sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts for the meat and cheese.

The food theme is also carried through, showcasing Indiana farmers who feed mouths near and far, thanks to a partnership with DowAgroSciences, in showcased every day at the State Fair, "to learn about how important farmers are to feeding the world," said Cindy Hoye, the State Fair's executive director. A traveling exhibit from the American Natural History Museum showcases the "Wonderful World of Food" in a Global Kitchen Exhibit in the Harvest Pavilion.

For more about the Fair, including $2 Tuesday deals, 250 free things to do at the Fair, download the free Indiana State Fair app or visit www.indianastatefair.com.

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