How â??bout that state fair!

August 7, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Thereâ??s nothing quite like a state capital to blunt a crummy economy. Not only are legions of government workers paid regardless of how the private sector performs, but capitals also have lots of small gold mines â?? like state fairs.

In Indianapolis, the Indiana State Fair is overshadowed by auto races and other sporting events, but it has consistently attracted people to the city since the mid-1800s.

A new Ball State study says the fair brought in 859,000 people last year â?? roughly equivalent to the population of Indianapolis. Most were from out of town, and they spent an average of $61.40, primarily outside the fairgrounds.

This year, a longer schedule should lure just over 1 million people, the study forecasts. This yearâ??s fair, which opens today, runs 17 days.

Fairgoers donâ??t spend like race fans or basketball crazies. But the city and surrounding counties are still glad to accept their money.

How do you feel about the fair? Itâ??s come a long way since former Gov. Frank Oâ??Bannon several years ago pushed to upgrade the decrepit facilities.
  • Who doesn't love the fair? (well personally I don't often attend)... but I sure see the economic benefit for the city. Not to mention that most people find it an enjoyable family outing. It's become an Indy tradition. Though according to our latest national rankings on the fat state scale it might behoove those attending to lay off the double fried choco-bacon bars or whatever they make this year.
  • Chocolate covered bacon I believe is the new thing this year.... Mmmmm
  • I love the fair and used to love the lemon shake ups, before they became watered down lemonade shake ups. Bring back the good tasting ones and stop charging $3-6 bucks for something that taste like crap. But yes, the fair is good.
  • I went to the fair the first year I lived here (1993) and was so disappointed I've never returned. State Fairs in other places, like my home state of Minnesota, are so much larger and offer more options for their attendees. It's typical of events In Indiana, they try to be like the big boys but fail miserably. Luckily the cost of living is stupid cheap here and I can travel to all the better events throughout the country.
  • Too many FAT people at the State Fair. It's very depressing.
  • Apart from MN, which boasts 1.6MM+ annually to there state fair making it the largest 12-day event in the country, Indiana ranks ahead of most other states including WI, IL, MI, even CA. We are in the top 10 easy.
  • Transplant: Indiana hosts some of the largest sporting events and conventions in the country.........AND on a regular basis........but we still can't keep up with the big boys? I think the facts contradict your statement.
  • Hey Transplant: Go home! We would be proud to have you return to Minnesota. Just be careful crossing your bridges...

    I haven't been to the fair in a few years, but it is a great family day out.Good wholesome fun for the kids. Only things better at the state fair grounds are the gun and knife show! ;-)
  • I'll be suprised if attendance is much over last year. Just because the length of the fair has been expanded doesn't mean the interest in attending has increased. People who want to go have always found time to go. All the expanded calendar will do is decrease attendance during the week.

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.