The Indiana State Fair is a bargain and a "must see" this year. If you attended in the past and watched livestock shows in the dimly lit, 1930s vintage coliseum, you're in for a treat. You will sit in comfortable chairs, have easy access to restrooms and refreshments and a great view from whatever seat you choose.
I'm circling the events I want to be sure to attend. You can pick from watching the 4-H steer show to being there when they pick the Grand Champions in barrows, steers and wethers. Or if concerts are your thing, there will be some of those too.
The Glass Barn on the opposite side of the track is also a must-see. The $3 million investment by the Indiana Soybean Alliance proved its worth last year at educating consumers about modern agriculture. It also demonstrated that given the right information, consumers, at least the ones streaming through the fair gates, are eager to learn. This year's Glass Barn state fair run features new exhibits, especially for families with younger children. And you will get to see the stories of five farmers. You can also chat live with them via webcam while they are on their farm. That happens three times per day.
Pioneer Village is always worth the stop, to see what Tim Nannet and his group of volunteers wearing bib overalls are up to now. Many of them wore overalls for years in their younger days. Now they do it as they demonstrate wheat threshing, talk about early tractors from days gone by and –who knows- maybe find a snake or two in the wheat brought in for threshing.
While walking around the track, visit Pathways to Water Quality. A joint effort of several conservation agencies and groups, it is now more than 20 years old, and a permanent fixture at the fair. Don't miss it.
Your biggest obstacle to seeing all these great improvements and exhibits may be negotiating traffic on major highways leading to Indianapolis. Plan your route. You may want to check ahead on possible displays due to construction. U.S. 31 from I-465 to Westfield remains a bottleneck, with detours around portions closed for construction. Construction on west-bound I-70 east of Indianapolis can cause delays. There is also construction on east-bound I-70 west of Indianapolis.
Watch for construction near I-465 on I-65 north if you're headed north, just past the Southport exit.
You'll make it through it, just allow extra time. Once there you'll forget about a few traffic detours or snarls. If cooler than normal weather holds, this could be one of the best state fairs ever!