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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana State Fair is just about two months away and fair officials are unveiling new stricter rules this year.

With more than 850,000 people expected at this year’s fair, officials unveiled new stricter rules nearly two months in advance.

Fairgoers can expect new bag restrictions this year.  

You can’t bring in hard-sided coolers, messenger bags, camera bags or any other bag larger than 9 x 10 x 12. Diaper bags and clutches are allowed. 

The Indiana State Fair is also using CEIA OPENGATE® screening devices at all gates for the second year in a row.  

These are the same detectors used at this year’s Indianapolis 500.  

“It is enhanced technology. And so, guests don’t have to take everything out of their pockets because of the strength of the metal detectors,” said Indiana State Fairgrounds Chief Marketing Officer Anna Whelchel

Fair officials also announced a new minor attendance policy. 

Any minor under the age of 18 will not be allowed in the fair after 6 p.m. without a chaperone, parent, or guardian.

“A lot of major fairs have really implemented this procedure and we feel confident in its ability to create a safe environment for families,” said Indiana State Fairgrounds Chief Operating Officer Mike Berkery.

The Indiana State Fair has been no stranger in recent years to violence.  

In 2017, two people were injured by a woman carrying a knife.

At the 2022 fair, police took a backpack away from a teen outside the gates that had three guns and ammunition inside. In a separate incident in 2022, police kicked a man out of the fair after they found disassembled pieces of a rifle in his backpack.

It’s these incidents officials are trying to avoid, and set the tone that violence will not be tolerated at the fair.

“We’re not the place for that. We absolutely are a family-friendly environment. Safety is our top priority. And we believe that with the measures we have in place this year, people will understand that, and that message will be very very clear,” said Whelchel.

No weapons of any kind will be allowed at this year’s fair. 

For a full list of what you need to know, click here. 

The Indiana State Fair runs from July 28 to August 20.