Normally by this time of year, crops are more than “laid by,” spring implements are stored, and you’re ready to take a break before harvest. This year, you may still have things on your to-do list, thanks to the historically late planting season. But that’s no reason to miss the Indiana State Fair. As one fast-food restaurant used to say, “You deserve a break today.” In this case, take that break in Indianapolis at the 2019 Indiana State Fair, Aug. 2-18.
Organizers promise you will still find lots of agriculture at the 2019 state fair. If you’re into farming and agriculture, forget the free concerts! Check out these five must-see exhibits:
1. Pathway to Water Quality. This exhibit has literally grown up as the state fair has grown. Located on the northeast side of the fairgrounds, you can walk the path and see conservation in action. Talk with representatives of Indiana’s soil conservation partners, about everything from concrete that lets water penetrate through it to cover crops that prevent soil erosion. See soil profiles, and sit a spell under the shade trees. This exhibit opens at 10 a.m. EDT each day.
2. Indiana FFA Pavilion. If you’ve got kids, you should head here for sure. Play miniature golf for free and check out the petting zoo. Even if you visited the pavilion last year, it will be different this year. The 2019-20 state FFA officers promise they’ve developed new exhibits that will both entertain and educate both you and your kids, no matter their age.
3. Pioneer Village. Longtime volunteer Mauri Williamson’s spirit lives on every hour the fair is open. Just go to Pioneer Village and you will feel it — in the wheat threshing and straw baling demonstrations, and in the craftsmen hard at work on everything from making wooden bowls to producing a quilt. Come on Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. and you can bid on articles made in Pioneer Village during the fair, including the quilt.
4. Old-time parade. If you’re at the fair in the evening, you won’t want to miss the daily parade, featuring lots of antique tractors that are parked behind Pioneer Village and on display throughout the fair. Check the daily schedule to determine which days and at what times the parades are held. It’s a fun way to either cap off a daytime visit to the fair or kick off your evening of fun and excitement. The Possum Hollow pickup truck from Pioneer Village sometimes makes an appearance, assuming they get her runnin’.
5. Indiana Soybean Alliance Glass Barn. If you haven’t seen it, this architectural delight is a must-see. Even if you have, check it out again. Jane Ade Stevens, executive director of the Indiana Soybean Alliance, says there will be a few new surprises in the Glass Barn this year. Bring the whole family to learn about the technology behind food production, especially foods that include soybeans.
Each day at 2:30 p.m. you can chat with that day’s Featured Farmers in the Glass Barn. This is the fifth year for the program that recognizes Indiana farm families, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience.
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