History of the Indiana State Fair
In 1851, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law that was, “An act for the encouragement of Agriculture.” This law created the State Board of Agriculture whose primary goal was to host the first Indiana State Fair. The first Fair took place in 1852 at Camp Sullivan, now known as Military Park. Indiana was only the sixth state in the nation to hold an annual state agricultural exposition.
The State Fair was also held in Lafayette, Madison, New Albany, Fort Wayne and Terre Haute before it was centrally located to Indianapolis in the area that is now the Herron-Morton Place neighborhood.
By the late 1800s, the Fair had outgrown its location and moved to its current location on 38th Street. The Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center opened in 1892 and has hosted more than 115 Indiana State Fairs.
The State Fair has been held every year since 1852, except 1861 because the Indiana State Fairgrounds were being used for military purposes during the Civil War, and in 2020 when it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During World War II, the fairgrounds were again requisitioned for the military and were under Army Air Forces use, therefore the 1942-1944 Fairs were scaled back to 4-H competitions only.
When is the Indiana State Fair?
The 2021 Indiana State Fair will take place from Friday, July 30 to Sunday, August 22. This year’s 2021 Indiana State Fair theme will celebrate “all things Indiana and the resiliency of the Hoosier Spirit.”
A change to help spread crowds out is the inclusion of an extra weekend at the beginning of the Fair and closing on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Though the 2021 Indiana State Fair will look a bit different this year, the fair is planning to bring back fairgoer favorites including carnival rides, fun fair food, 4-H competitions and free entertainment.
This year, the 2021 Indiana State Fair will look different for Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, too. Instead of a presence in the Farm Bureau Building throughout the Fair, Saturday, July 31 will officially be Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Day!
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance will have a huge presence on State Fair Boulevard, including activities for kids and adults, insurance agents to answer any questions, information and, most excitedly, a grand sweepstakes!
Ready, set, mow!
During the month of July, we are hosting a sweepstakes called Ready, set, mow! The grand prize is a John Deere X370 Select Series Lawn Tractor, and the second prize is a child’s John Deere ride-on Gator toy. Participants may enter online at readysetmow.com the entire month of July or in person on Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Day.
State Fair COVID guidelines and safety protocols
Indiana State Fair organizers said, “We are thrilled to welcome our beloved fairgoers back to the Great Indiana State Fair. As we actively plan the 164th Indiana State Fair and look forward to gathering again, our top priority is always the health and wellness of our guests, staff, volunteers and partners.”
Fair organizers are working with the Indiana State Department of Health on ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as ensuring social distancing and sanitizing heavy-use surfaces.
We can’t wait to see you Saturday, July 31 on Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Day at the 2021 Indiana State Fair! Until then, what fair food you are most looking forward to? Elephant ears are high on our list!