At night, the fair slows down but doesn’t come to a halt

When the fairgrounds grow empty and dark after the Midway shuts down at 11:30 p.m., the Indiana State Fair is almost unrecognizable. Crowds of loud, excited people no longer fill the streets. Instead they’re lined with trash bags as fair workers empty the cans and...

4-H donkeys provide therapy for both young, old

Introducing elderly people in nursing homes to miniature donkeys free of charge is what Kory Tracey spends a good chunk of his time doing. The Winchester man has converted one of his miniature donkeys that his grandkids use for 4-H into a therapy donkey to make people...

Feast on fair food without going broke

Spending money and eating junk food: two givens at the Indiana State Fair. Luckily, some food vendors offer items that won’t break the bank. Check out these 10 tasty treats for $5 and under. 1. Pizza Huge slices of cheese, pepperoni or sausage are $5 each at Charlie’s...

Pony rides build confidence

A little girl with pigtails and purple shorts waited patiently for her turn to ride a pony. “You get to ride the white one,” her mother said. Hadley Maddox, 3, grinned, eager to ride Olaf, the Shetland pony. As Rachel Surridge, 17, led the pony around the ring, the...

Free stuff at the fair and where to get it

• Food Turkey Run Hazelnut Gelato, next to the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand Okay, the food at the fair is delicious. Free food at the fair? Priceless… literally. • “I <3 Bacon” key chains Hoosier Lottery, behind the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand The Hoosier...

Sheep shearers: state fair athletes in wool

Baaaaa! Mehhh! The sheep at the Indiana State Fair Sheep Shearing Contest weren’t too happy Monday night, and they were pretty vocal about it. Professional and amateur sheep shearers gave more than 120 necessary sheep haircuts Monday night in the Sheep Barn at the...

Man regains his purpose driving fair shuttle

Ron Adams had a busy life. He served in the Army, designed military equipment, helped raise a family, drove floats at the Indy 500 parade and traveled to Australia, Hawaii and Alaska. All of that changed, however, when his second wife, Diane, got sick. Diane had never...

Feed goats for a quarter, feel happy the rest of the day

The little girl with straight brown hair was loud. She talked loudly to her mom, and she talked loudly to the goats, standing in straw behind white iron gates. She was one of those kids who giggle-shrieked. When the goat came closer to the side of his pen and thrust...

Review: A second grader and 2 college kids judge Midway rides

The Midway at the Indiana State Fair is bright and shiny, an enticing sight for excited 7-year-olds and college students alike. Since there are nearly 30 of us participating in class, our trailer gets cramped quite often, so we decided to blow off some steam and ride...

Fairgoers manage to enjoy their time despite rain

Kids in squeaky yellow rain boots splash in puddles. Fairgoers rush to pull out ponchos. Vendors cover their goods with tarps while more adamant customers try to shop around them. On Sunday morning, thunderstorms were another feature of the Indiana State Fair. “When...

Marion County singer places first in Vocal Throwdown

Paige Brown, 18, was nervous. She didn’t realize until the week before that she needed to choose a new song for the finals of the Indiana State Fair’s Vocal Throwdown on Saturday. She couldn’t use “At Last” by Etta James, an old favorite she used to win the Marion...