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first_imgState Fair Opens With A Salute To Indiana’s Circus HistoryAugust 3, 2018  |   Filed under: Across Indiana,Top stories  |   Posted by: Janet WilliamsBy Brynna SentelTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—Take a trip to the Big Top Circus as Indiana’s annual summer celebration of all things agriculture salutes the state’s circus history. The 2018 Indiana State Fair opens Friday at the state fairgrounds and runs through Aug. 19. In addition to the usual agriculture exhibits, deep-friend foods and state pride, the fair celebrates the state’s rich circus history. The Big Top Circus will offer three shows a day. But if the circus isn’t your thing, you can take in scores of other events that change every day. Concerts at the Chevrolet Free Stage, free with admission to the fair, will feature singers such as Rick Springfield and Hunter Hayes as well as bands like Dirty Deeds USA, Extreme AC/DC and HANSON. Other events include harness racing, a cheerleading competition, tractor pulls, a watermelon seed spitting contest, rodeos, demolition derbys and much more.Livestock competitions such as the rabbit ambassador and rooster crowing contests as well as  the dairy goat olympics will also take place throughout the fair.A crowd favorite is Animal Town, which will include eight different species of barnyard animals every day of the fair.The fair offers promotional days such as $2 Tuesdays where admission fees are $2, along with concession food and midway rides. Wednesdays are free with a ticket that will be printed in The Indianapolis Star the day before. Wednesdays also offer free shuttle rides to seniors age 55 and older.On Thursday, Aug. 16, AAA members can present their card for free admission.Introduction of royalty such as crowning Miss, and Jr. and Little Miss Indiana, will take place on Sunday Aug. 12 at 4:30 p.m.Last year 906,732 fairgoers attended the fair, a 24 percent increase from the year before. The all time highest attendance at the fair was in 978,296 in 2013.Almost a million fairgoers are expected this year so safety has been revamped to ensure a safe day for all attendees. Hoosiers can expect metal detectors at all pedestrian entrances along with bag checks, so plan ahead and only take the necessities.General Admission is $13 at the gate, children 5 years and younger get in free. Parking is $5 during the fair.FOOTNOTE: Brynna Sentel is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.Print Friendly, PDF & EmailFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Indiana, known more for its corn and soybeans, became famous for its circus connection in the late 1800s when many traveling shows established winter headquarters near Peru, Indiana.By the 1940s, the shows began wintering in Florida, but to keep the circus spirit alive Peru launched its Circus City Days in the 1950s. After that a circus tent was rented for the inaugural Peru Amateur Circus for children age 7-21 to participate in.State fair officials hope to encompass the spirit of the circus with this year’s theme while keeping the typical fair festivities alive.It wouldn’t be a state fair without some new fried foods unveiled each year. In past years, fairgoers were introduced to deep-fried Snickers and other concoctions, while this year’s event has its own unique creations designed to test the palate.For example, ever wonder how you deep fry a sugar cream pie? To find out how that mixture of sugar, butter and cream holds up in a deep fryer you might have to go to the fairgrounds and check it out for yourself.Other treats that take rich or fattening foods and load them up with sugar are the carmel apple elephant ear and piggy popcorn with sweet yum yum sauce. And if your taste runs to plain popcorn, that is available for free every day from noon to 5 p.m.last_img read more