FOX59 at Indiana State Fair opening day: What you can do for free, dates to remember

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana State Fair opens for the season on Friday, and FOX59 wants to help you make the most of it!

This year’s theme is Celebrating the Hoosier Spirit, and many feel there’s a lot to celebrate after the fair was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

FOX59 will be live at the Indiana State Fairgrounds (on E. 38th Street) from 7:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. with Angela Ganote, Daniel Miller, Britt Baker, and Amber Hardwick! You can watch along on our live stream.

Daily hours and pricing

The fair opens to the public at 6:30 a.m. on Friday for the opening day and will be open until 11 p.m. The fair is only open on Wednesdays through Sundays from July 30 to August 22, with Mondays and Tuesdays being closed.

Opening hours every other day of the fair are 9 a.m. The fair closes at 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 10 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday.

The Midway (where the rides are) opens at noon on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 11 a.m. on Friday through Sunday.

Single day fair admissions is $13 and can be bought here. Children 5 and under are free.

Parking

The Indiana State Fairgrounds are located at 1202 E. 38th Street. Parking will be available at the Fairgrounds Infield South Lot on 38th Street and at the Indiana School for the Deaf on 42nd Street.

Parking costs $10 per vehicle. Any vehicle not parked in a designated parking area or blocking traffic is subject to towing.

COVID-19 protocol

Under the state fair’s current policy, masks will not be required for fully vaccinated individuals, including guests, staff, vendors and contractors.

The state fair’s website states those who are not vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask and to follow CDC guidelines.

Additional COVID measures at the state fair include:

  • Expanded fair dates to spread out crowds across an additional weekend
  • Closing Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Vaccinations available daily at the Indiana State Fair
  • Eliminated park & ride shuttle
  • Food service utensils and condiments individually packaged
  • Hand sanitizing packets available for all guests upon entry
  • Contactless entry will be available and encouraged.
  • Tractor shuttles will be free to ensure contactless experience
  • Deploying 500+ hand sanitizing and hand washing stations around Fairgrounds

100 free things to do

Each day, the fair offers several activities you can enjoy free of charge!

They include:

  • Free tractor transportation
  • Baby goat petting zoo
  • Giant cheese sculpture
  • Design your own quilt

Here’s a full list of 100 free things at the fair.

Discount dates

If you’re looking to save some money on admission, there are several discounts in which you may be able to participate.

  • Wednesday, August 4: BMV discount day ($6 gate admission with printed or digital voucher from In.gov/bmv)
  • Thursday, August 5, 12, 19: $3 Thursday ($3 gate admission, $3 Midway rides, $3 food options at each food stand)
  • Wednesday, August 11: Indiana 811 Day (FREE admission with IndyStar ticket)
  • Saturday, August 14: Hoosier Lottery Day (Visitors 18+ with paid admission and a Hoosier Lottery gate flyer
    can receive a free Hoosier Lottery Scratch-off ticket, while supplies last)
  • Wednesday, August 18: AAA Day (AAA cardholders receive FREE admission with a valid AAA
    membership card presented at the gate)
  • Friday, August 20: Military and First Responders’ Day (First responders, current and former Military, and their families receive FREE admission with valid ID presented at the gate)

We’ve already made a list of 10 of the new attractions this year and the new fair foods you have to try.

FOX59 at the State Fair

Also, check out our Opening Day gallery!

You can see the entire fair program here.

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