The Indiana State Fair, which takes place in August, is steeped in tradition, but there's something new to enjoy every season. You'll find the signature mix of state fair fun here, including tasty foods, midway games, and agricultural events, along with big-name concerts and plenty of fun.
Indiana State Fair History and Facts
The state fair traces its roots to 1851 when the state legislature formed the Board of Agriculture whose primary mission was the start the state fair. Indiana was only the sixth state in America to host a state fair when the first one was held in Military Park in the heart of Indianapolis. Over the years, it was held in other cities, including Terre Haute, Madison, and Fort Wayne. The official fairgrounds on 38th Street opened in 1892.
Over the years, the Indiana State Fairgrounds added new facilities, while the schedule featured new events. Presidents, major bands, and other news makers have been featured guests, including Elvis and the Beatles.
Tickets to the Indiana State Fair
Indiana State Fair tickets are straightforward. Gate admission is less than the cost of a weekend movie and anyone under the age of five is welcome at the Indiana State fair 2023 for free. Discount tickets are readily available, making a day at the fair and cost-effective way to have fun. Like many state fairs and events, concerts require additional tickets above and beyond the gate fee, as do the midway games and food.
Directions to the Indiana State Fairgrounds
Located at the corner of the Fall Creek Parkway and East 38th Street, the Indiana State Fairgrounds are centrally located in the heart of Indiana's capital city. From Interstate 65 south, heading from Lafayette and Chicago, take Exit 119, which is 38th Street. It's about five miles to the entrance. Coming from the south, including Louisville, take I-65 north to I-70, the road from Columbus, Ohio, and St. Louis. Take the Keystone Avenue exit, which is 85B; follow Keystone north until 38th Street.
Lodging near the Indiana State Fairgrounds
With so much to see and do at the Indiana State Fair 2023, it makes sense to stay nearby and turn day at day at the fair into a full-fledged vacation. Camping is available year-round at the fairgrounds, and reservations are required during the seventeen days of the fair. RVs hookups are available, as are lots for tent campers.
The Marten House Hotel, the official hotel of the Indiana State Fair, provides hospitality to many of the fair-goers. Located at 1801 W. 86th Street in Indianapolis, it is one of the state's nicest luxury hotels and offers 163 guestrooms. Amenities include large-screen TVs, in-room coffee, and kitchenettes. The Marten House, also home to the Lily Conference Center, has a casual dining restaurant, free parking, and an indoor heated pool.
If cheap hotels better suit your budget, consider America's Best Inn, which has six locations within 30 miles of the fair. The America's Best Inn Indy East at 7314 E. 21st Street is just five miles from Indy 500. The guestrooms have TVs with movie channels and DVD players. In the morning, guests are treated to a complimentary breakfast spread.