The Midway. The wild, fried fare. Summer concerts on the Hoosier Lottery Free Stage. All this could only mean one thing: The Indiana State Fair returns to the fairgrounds from Friday, July 28-Sunday, Aug. 20.
Since 1852, the fair has attracted thousands of people to the 250-acre fairgrounds to celebrate Indiana agriculture + the end of the summer harvest. It lasts three weeks (minus Mondays and Tuesdays), with new events, deals, and opportunities every day. Ride with us while we prep you for everything you need to know before you go.
Hours, tickets, parking
- During its three-week run the fair is open Wednesday through Sunday and the gates open at 9 a.m.
- Tickets are available in person and online. Tickets bought in advance are $11 + general admission tickets are $14.
- Pro tip: $3 Thursdays are Aug. 3, 10, and 17. Gate admission and midway rides are $3 each + every food stand will have $3 food options.
- Parking is available on- and off-site — advance parking is $8 and gate parking is $10.
Some big names are headlining the Hoosier Lottery Free Stage, including:
- Clint Black | Friday, July 28
- Keith Sweat | Wednesday, Aug. 2
- Styx | Friday, Aug. 4
- TobyMac | Sunday, Aug. 6
- Buddy Guy | Friday, Aug. 18
All shows start at 7:30 p.m. and are free with fair admission.
This year’s theme is “Celebrating Basketball: The State That Grew the Game.” Explore Indiana’s basketball history with daily themed exhibits, the Indiana Fashion Foundation’s Sneaker Design Contest on Friday, July 28, and the “Hoopfest” pop-up amusement park in The Backyard.
The fried fair fare
As always, expect a lot of fried food along the Midway, as well as various barbecued concoctions.
Pro tip: Get a taste of the Deep Fried Corn on a Stick. It’s exactly what the name implies — a 6-inch ear of corn on a stick seasoned + fried until it is a golden brown.
Get a “Taste of the Fair” with the full list of this year’s fair food.
What’s new + what’s free
- Xpogo: Extreme Pogo Stunt team | Daily | Times vary | The Backyard
- Otter Adventure | Starting Wednesday, Aug. 2 | 4:30 p.m. + 6 p.m. | MHS Family Fun Park
- Land of Legends: Indiana’s Basketball Legacy | Daily | 9 a.m.-9 p.m. | Harvest Pavillion
- Illuminate! | Friday, July 28-Sunday, Aug. 6 | 9 a.m.-9 p.m. | Expo Hall
Final game plan
Of course, no fair is complete without rides + games, and the Indiana State Fair will have plenty of those, too. The fair’s program of events will also help you map out your visit. Whatever you do, give yourself plenty of time to explore it all — and wear comfy shoes.