Gates at the Indiana State Fair are set to open Friday and officials are hoping for better attendance this year, even though many Hoosier students are already back in school.
Last year, around 854,000 people attended the State Fair. According to spokesman Andy Klotz, it was a fairly good turnout but still the worst attendance in seven years.
The intense heat coupled with a few days of downpours played a big factor in the drop in attendance. This year, the fair faces a new challenge: the balanced calendar that’s created a shorter summer for students and given organizers another factor to consider.
“It’s been something that we keep close monitoring of,” said Klotz.
Klotz said the Fair Board would consider moving the dates of the State Fair up to avoid the school year, but it’s a complicated matter.
“We really don’t have a whole lot of flexibility,” said Klotz. “The county fairs all feed into the State Fair, so if we were to move our fair back then that would be… tough on some of the county fairs.”
For now, it will stick to its 17 days of fun in August.
The Fair Board is hoping its kid-friendly promotions, a brand new Kiddie Land Midway and great weather will be enough to lure in families.
“If the weather is good, people are going to come out. Even if it’s after school,” said Klotz.
You can find promotions and discounts at the Indiana State Fair website.