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 we got here there were clouds in the distance, but we didn’t think it would be much,” said Bob Kidwell, of Indianapolis.
Kidwell and his wife, Mary, were waiting patiently under the awning of the Communications Building.
“It’s let up a little. There’s no more bubbles [in the puddles],” he said as the couple ducked under their umbrella to go find a tasty treat.
Many in attendance at the fair flocked to the nearest awning or barn to shield themselves from the pelting drops. The Swine Barn was just a bit more of a full house than usual. For some, it was a planned stop to see the goats, but for most it was a quick escape from the increasing rainfall.
The gloomy atmosphere didn’t dampen the attitudes of some fairgoers though.
“I’m not sweating, I’m not hot, so this weather doesn’t bother me at all,” Karen Field said.
She and her husband, Mark, drove up two hours from Rochester with their grandchildren, so a little bit of rain wasn’t going to stop them from having some fun.
In fact, Field said she is crazy for storms.
“I’m a storm lover. It doesn’t matter what type of storm it is, I love them,” she said. “Storms mean less crowds, and that’s always a good thing.”
The Midway had fallen mute, the carnival music silenced with the rides stilled.
“Shhh, don’t tell them that!” Field said as she tried to avoid telling her grandchildren the news that the Midway had been postponed due to rain.
According to the National Weather Service, during last year’s fair the total rainfall was 0.39 inches. After only a week into the fair, this year’s total precipitation for the length of the fair is already at 0.22 inches. But that doesn’t seem to be affecting the Hoosiers.
“It’s rain, what are you gonna do about it?” Field said. “Life goes on.”
Hendrix Magley is a writer for BSU Journalism at the Fair, a group of 30 students telling Indiana’s stories from a trailer somewhere between the cheese sculpture and the state’s biggest sow. This Ball State University immersive-learning project works for elephant ears.