Indiana State Fair attendance up slightly from a year ago

Attendance at the Indiana State Fair picked up slightly this year in its second year under a “post-pandemic” format that added an 18th day to the schedule.

Fair officials announced Wednesday that attendance for this year’s event came in at 837,568, up from 830,390 in 2021. That’s an increase of less than 1%. The number was the third-lowest attendance figure over the last 15 years (see below).

After calling off the 2020 fair due to the pandemic, organizers added an 18th day to the event in 2021 and 2021, but spread those days over a longer period than previous fairs by closing on Mondays and Tuesdays. The new format adds an extra weekend to the schedule.

This year’s fair saw the heat index climb above 90 degrees on five days, but the weather overall was rarely detrimental to attendance.

“This year’s Indiana State Fair was a great success,” said Cindy Hoye, Indiana State Fair Commission executive director, in written remarks. “We were challenged with a few days of hot summer heat, but thankful that we had mostly beautiful weather.”

Fair officials said many vendors at this year’s fair reported record sales. A total of 6,600 exhibitors showed or displayed a combined 45,739 animal and non-animal projects.

Another highlight: More than 62,000 milkshakes and 32,000 grilled cheeses sandwiches were consumed from the Dairy Bar.

Next year’s fair is scheduled for July 28-Aug.20 and will again be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Indiana State Fair attendance history

The fair ran for 18 days this year and in 2021. The fair ran 17 days from 2009-2019 and 12 days prior to 2009.

2022 – 837,568
2021 – 830,390
2020 – No fair
2019 – 878,857
2018 – 860,131
2017 – 906,732
2016 – 731,543
2015 – 907,000
2014 – 954,884
2013 – 978,296*
2012 – 853,941
2011 – 872,312
2010 – 950,000
2009 – 973,902
2008 – 859,600
2007 – 746,421
2006 – 870,052
2005 – 820,248
2004 – 900,365
2003 – 878,114
2002 – 796,431
2001 – 731,592
2000 – 754,410
1999 – 748,204
1998 – 728,724
1997 – 673,167
1996 – 701,021
1995 – 591,680
1994 – 672,872
1993 – 689,924
1992 – 722,218
1991 – 676,693
1990 – 639,335
1989 – 593,676
1988 – 571,230

*Fair record

Source: Indiana State Fair Commission and IBJ research

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4 thoughts on “Indiana State Fair attendance up slightly from a year ago

  1. So, since they added a day and stretched it out an additional weekend in 2021, attendance has been lower than ten of the eleven prior years when there was one less day and one less weekend. What’s the next great idea? Close on Wednesdays also and stretch it out to five weekends?

  2. 2015 attendance was 907,000, then a significant drop to 731,543 in 2016. Then a significant increase to 906,732 in 2017. Wonder what attributed to the 2016 dip.

    1. Nancy, attendance at the 2016 fair was hurt by nine days of precipitation and excessive heat.

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