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Plan for a big time touring Indiana State Fair

Slideshow: Make your plans now to visit the fair, Aug. 3-19.

The Indiana State Fair runs Aug. 3-19 in Indianapolis. There will be plenty of fun and excitement at this year’s event.

Organizers have planned for a circus to be ongoing every day on the north side of the fairgrounds. It’s one reason this why year’s fair theme is built around a circus atmosphere.

Plenty of your favorite activities will be back, too. Here’s a rundown of some of the things you can expect to see at the 2018 Indiana State Fair. For a complete list of activities and schedules, visit

• FFA Pavilion. New state FFA officers bring new ideas every year, but you can count on certain staples when you visit the Indiana FFA Pavilion on the north side of the fairgrounds. You will find a petting zoo, miniature golf course, the FFA Country Store featuring Indiana-produced items and play areas for kids. Many families start their day at the fair here. The Indiana Young Farmers Building next door also has play areas for kids. 

• DNR displays. The Indiana Division of Natural Resources features both indoor and outdoor displays at its building just west of the FFA Pavilion and Indiana Young Farmers Building. Inquire about fishing activities for kids, or tour inside and see various species of fish native to Indiana.

• Livestock shows. What would the fair be without hogs, cattle, sheep and more? The “more” includes goats and horses, including several nights of draft horse hitches. Those shows happen inside the Coliseum. Admission is free.

• Pathway to Water Quality. A state fair staple for more than two decades, find this exhibit outside the track on the northeast corner. This is a living, growing display, and the site has grown over time. Exhibits change to match the changing growth of the permanent site. Be sure to visit and learn about everything from rain barrels to cover crops. The display is manned with knowledgeable conservation people to answer questions.

• Pioneer Village. Pioneer Village is a fair within a fair! Tour the main building to see tools pioneers used to farm. Or visit craftsmen and volunteers in authentic garb outside, doing everything from threshing grain to making wood shingles. Allow plenty of time to spend at Pioneer Village and get a sense of what made Indiana great.

• Farm Bureau building. There are always interactive displays and free popcorn inside the Indiana Farm Bureau Building on the north side of the fairgrounds. Special activities happen in the auditorium in the rear of the building, as well. It’s a great place to meet friends and take a load of your feet for a spell.

To see photos from the fair, click through the slideshow.

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