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home : columnists : rep. kathy kreag richardson October 19, 2017

Heritage and fun to be found at the Indiana State Fair

By Kathy Kreag Richardson
Indiana State Representative, District 29

The Indiana State Fair kicks off this week. From Friday, Aug. 4, through Sunday Aug. 20, Hoosiers from all over will come to the state fairgrounds to enjoy and explore Indiana's history and traditions in fun and exciting ways.

The Indiana State Fair is known for its incredible food so it's only fitting that this year's fair theme is "The Wonderful World of Food." To celebrate Indiana's farms, each day will highlight different foods and spotlight the hardworking farmers who produce it. Visitors can try many of the featured foods and traditional fair favorites at more than 90 food stands throughout the fairgrounds. There is also Our Global Kitchen, which is an exhibit showcasing our interactions with our food, how food has shaped us and the complex system that gets our food from the farm to our tables.

If you think you've seen all the fair has to offer, there are plenty of new activities this year.

At the Family Fun Park, get up-close with a camel, buffalo, ostrich and much more at Baird's Exotic Animal Experience. Each day Hedrick's Racing Pigs will make an enthusiastic sprint to the finish line where the winner will be rewarded with the grand prize of one cookie. After the race, at the nearby Glass Barn, you can see where and how pigs are raised through virtual reality glasses.

For furry fun, you can cheer on the DockDogs. These water-loving canines will be sure to entertain as they perform tricks daily and jump to great heights and distances into a big pool of water. The Budweiser Clydesdales will also be making an appearance from Aug. 16-20.

Guests will now be able to see the sights from high above the fairgrounds in the new skyride. Similar to how a ski chairlift works, the skyride will travel down Main Street showcasing the fair from a whole new view.

Even with all these new attractions, old classics are still around for your entertainment. The Midway will have carnival favorites and Kiddieland is available for the little ones. The Indiana History Train will allow you to explore our state's rich history. This year the "Made in Indiana" exhibit joins the train and will feature a variety of creative and innovative products with roots in Indiana.

Step into a scene from the 1800s at the Pioneer Village. Here you can be a part of the ice cream crank-off, watch performers at the Opry House or check out the farm toy show or antique tractor exhibition.

The livestock barns and buildings will house thousands of animals during the fair. In these buildings and throughout the fairgrounds you will also find traditional demonstrations on butter churning, milking, cooking, gardening and more.

As always, the Indiana State Fair never fails to bring amazing, fun and entertaining musical talent to visitors. This year, some of the more well-known performers include Bret Michaels, the All-American Rejects and Blue October. The Pepsi Indiana Music Festival features a number of Indiana-based bands and performers including Why Store, the Easthills, Bigfoot Yancey and Against the Clocks.

We can't forget to highlight the amazing 4-H exhibits at the fair featuring award-winning animals, projects, baked goods and much more. Many of our local 4-H students will be showcasing their work at the Indiana State Fair over the next few weeks. I want to wish them the best of luck as they compete and represent us at the state level with all of their fantastic projects.

For more information about the fair or to purchase tickets online, visit www.indianastatefair.com. Tickets are $12 for single-day admission or $8 if purchased before Aug. 3. Children ages 5 and younger can get in for free. On Thursday, Aug. 10, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is hosting myBMV.com Discount Day. Visit www.in.gov/bmv for a half-priced admission coupon.

I hope to see you at the 2017 Indiana State Fair soon.

Kathy Kreag Richardson is a Republican State Representative from District 29, which includes Noblesville, and has served in the legislature since 1992. She also is the elections administrator for Hamilton County. You may contact her at h29@in.gov.

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