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Indiana State Fair begins annual extravaganza with food, farm animals, and entertainment

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana State Fair will kick off its annual 17-day extravaganza this morning with food, farm animals, amusement rides and entertainers.

There will be a giant balloon race at 6:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. before the “Music for All Indiana State Fair Band Day” kicks off at 9 a.m.

Organizers are hoping for a repeat of last year’s string of dry, sunny days that helped boost attendance to nearly 907,000 people.

This year’s theme is “Step Right Up” in recognition of three-time daily circus show that’s been added under a big-top tent.

Yesterday, homeland security inspectors checked every ride, even if it already passed a recent inspection.

Visitors will face added security measures at the fair this year with metal detectors at each pedestrian entrance. Items such as aerosol cans, balloons, lasers and noisemakers are joining weapons as being specifically prohibited on the fairgrounds.

Officials say it’s meant to prevent incidents like the one that occurred last year when a woman attacked two people with a knife. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

Gate hours for the fair are Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Midway hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, noon to 10 p.m.; Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Check out complete schedule here

New unique food offerings

Complete list of free concerts

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