State Fair Food Theme Will 'Prop it up a Notch'

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The executive director of the Indiana State Fair Commission says the 161st edition of the fair, which opens Friday in Indianapolis, will showcase the food and agriculture sector and "prop it up a notch." This year's theme is "a Wonderful World of Food" and Cindy Hoye says each day will focus on a different Hoosier farming-focused theme including mint, tomatoes, cheese and eggs. She says the theme reflects the important role Indiana ag producers play in feeding the world. New for this year is a Global Kitchen exhibit in the Harvest Pavilion and an attraction Hoye calls "a gamechanger," which is the Skyride. The ski lift-like ride gives passengers a bird's eye view of the fairgrounds and runs above Main Street.

Hoye says the Indiana State Fairgrounds' marquee event is just one part of what the operation means to the community. She says annually the Fairgrounds has a $124 million direct economic impact, creating the equivalent of 400 jobs. Hoye says the property is "a thriving enterprise" supporting the state and the surrounding area.

The State Fair continues to contend with school schedules throughout the state that have continued to shift toward earlier start dates. She says officials have worked toward ways around the issue by moving to a 17-day format that covers three weekends, opening the last week of the fair for school field trips and working with the Indiana Department of Education on granting excused absences for students participating as exhibitors.

This year's Indiana State Fair runs August 4-20.

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