So, my family and I went to the fair on Wednesday morning instead. It was the first time any of us had ever gone to a state fair. I grew up going to my local county fair every few years as I lived in the county seat, and it was very close to my home. I have fond memories of it, and was excited to go to another fair as it’s been years since I last went to one.
But, this fair wasn’t for us big kids, my husband and I, so we decided to see what there was to experience for free and with/for our young children. So, after we paid our five dollars for parking, we hit up the Turkey Hill stand and got some delicious salted caramel ice cream, complete with small wooden spoon, for free. Then we walked around, marveling at all the variety of food items you can get only at state fairs – elephant ears, deep-fried twinkles, and an assortment of meats! It smelt delicious to us, even though it was only nine o’clock in the morning.This year’s theme for the Indiana State Fair is “The Year of the Popcorn,” which is great, since Josh and I love popcorn. At the fair, on display, is the world’s largest popcorn ball! It was huge and heavy and not very tasty looking, but popcorn ball it was. It’s made out of 976.6 lbs of popped popcorn, 1113.21 lbs of popcorn kernels, and 5533.5 lbs of glue. The base weight is 390lbs and the ball weighs 6510 lbs. Its diameter is 7′ 11″ and its circumference is 24′ 9″. Quite a big ball of popcorn!
While we were checking that out, we also checked out all the flowers, honey, vegetables, fruits, seeds, grains of corn, and other things that were on displayed in the same building. We had no idea how they decided which corn kernels were superior, but someone apparently did, and blue ribbons were awarded for the best in show.
We checked out the brand new Glass Barn Exhibit. Inside the glass barn you get to pay “beano” and go around looking for the answers to questions on the card. If you fill it out, then you get a free hat souvenir. We also enjoyed checking out all the huge farm equipment and tractors in front of the Glass Barn. Our girls climbed into the enormous wheels; other people, adults included, climbed up the stairs on them, checking out the cabins.
Our daughters were also given cool, shiny trooper badge stickers from a trooper desk on the grounds. They also got to check out and pet a real live steer! It was enormous! Inside the barn were some horses and more cows. Or course our girls wanted to get a closer look and stood on an ox bow, and it fell over, loudly. They also left behind one of our newly acquired yellow hats, but we were fortunate that someone had just found it.
We then went to the Little Hands on the Farm in the Family Fun Park area. In the Little Hands on the Farm, children get to go through a “day at the farm,” doing chores. They got aprons and baskets and were send down a path, following the chicken prints on it. They collected grains and fruits and vegetables, dug in the dirt, planting a seed, “milked” a cow, and rode a tractor. In payment for their hard work on the farm for the day they were given “money” to buy a treat of their choice at the end (for free)! They had various granola bars, snacks, and drinks to choose from.
Meanwhile, I got to catch a bit of the Sinbad High Dive Show, and Josh got to see a calf being born! He saw it right as it was being pulled out! I was jealous cause I kind of wanted to see that, too. I thought it was strange that people would just sit around on bleachers waiting for a cow to give birth. Good old state fairs! As we were leaving we also caught the start of the Great American Frontier Show. Also in this area, our girls got some free fresh honey kettle popcorn that we snacked on throughout our morning. If we had more time, and extra cash, we were tempted to have our girls take a little pony ride too, especially since they had just seen wild ponies on our vacation, and had asked me about riding one. But, we didn’t. Sorry girls!
After that we came home. It was a lot of fun! I’m so glad we got tickets and were able to go. We didn’t stay for very long, due to nap time constraints, and didn’t even take our girls on any of the rides (they don’t start until noon), but maybe if/when we go back, we’ll hit up some of the other fun stuff!
Also, I loved that there is a lactation station – a place for nursing moms to sit, relax, change baby’s diapers, and have supportive chairs to feed little ones. I didn’t end up needing to feed Michael while we were there, but I loved that there was a cozy place for me to go to do that! Points for having that Indiana State Fair! Makes it very family friendly.
The Indiana State Fair will continue to run from now until August 18th! And remember, it’s “Fun at Every Turn!” Have you ever gone to a state fair before?