Tag Archive for State Fair

Coliseum Renovation to Include Second Arena

After five years of study and several months of finalizing design plans, the Indiana State Fair Commission is preparing to begin a $63 million renovation of the Pepsi Coliseum complex.  The project will be paid for through bonding payable with commission revenues.

Built in 1939 as part of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration, the Coliseum needs an extensive renovation to meet contemporary event requirements, improve operational efficiencies, and become compliant with current building codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The project will begin October 29, 2012, and be completed in July, 2014, in time for that year’s Indiana State Fair.

“This is the most important capital project in the 120-year history of the Indiana State Fairgrounds,” State Fair Commission Chairman Andre Lacy said.  “We’ve done our due diligence preparing for this and it’s finally time to turn our dreams into reality.”

Kansas City-based Populous is the design firm responsible for the project’s architecture and engineering.  The company has completed hundreds of high profile arenas and stadiums around the world.  Hunt Construction Group of Indianapolis is the construction manager on the project.  They also oversaw the construction of local landmarks like Lucas Oil Stadium and the downtown J.W. Marriott.

The scope of the renovation calls for the iconic exterior of the Coliseum to be rejuvenated, but remain otherwise unchanged.  The building’s interior, however, will be completely demolished and reconstructed with improvements that include double-tiered seating, a new video scoreboard and a modern sound system.

The new facility will offer slightly more seating capacity than the existing one depending on the configuration.  The current building seats around 8,000 people while the new one could accommodate as many as 9,000 visitors.

“The new Coliseum will be a one-of-a-kind, family friendly facility in Indianapolis that won’t compete with larger venues like Bankers Life Fieldhouse,” State Fairgrounds Executive Director Cindy Hoye said.  “It won’t have skyboxes or luxury suites, but it will be a modern facility that hosts shows and events that might not otherwise come to our city.  It is also the key to the State Fairgrounds business plan.”

The Coliseum is responsible for bringing in approximately 40 percent of the State Fairgrounds’ annual revenue.  Additionally, an Indiana University Kelley School Business study released earlier this year concluded that the building generates $89.3 million in direct spending for the Indianapolis economy.

“There’s no question that the Coliseum is the heart of the fairgrounds’ facilities,” Bruce Jaffee, the study’s author, said.  “If it doesn’t get renovated, the gradual deterioration would force some of the activities and events to locate elsewhere.  They may just go away.”

The Coliseum has hosted some of Indianapolis’ most memorable events.  The Beatles played their only Indiana show there in 1964.  The building also boasts the majority of the city’s hockey history and was the original home of the Indiana Pacers where they won three American Basketball Association championships.

“The Coliseum is steeped in Hoosier history,” Hoye said.  “Between hockey games, consumer shows, agricultural events and graduations, the Coliseum is in use about 300 days of the year.  After the renovation, we expect that number to climb even higher.”

For an inside look on the projected appearance of the new Coliseum, visit http://youtu.be/U2s-3A_bAs8.

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Indiana State Fair Dismisses Animals from the Swine Barn

In a proactive measure, the Indiana State Fair dismissed all the animals from the Swine Barn this afternoon, one day earlier than scheduled.  The action comes on the recommendation from the Board of Animal Health after six pigs in the 4-H show developed temperatures over 105 degrees, an indicator of potential illness.

“We consider this decision to be very prudent in light of what we have seen during the last several weeks at county fairs all over Indiana, as well as in other states,” said Bret D. Marsh, DVM, Indiana State Veterinarian.  “We’ve had an unusually high number of reports of illness associated with swine shows this season.  Overall, the swine at the State Fair this year have done well, and dispersing the hogs as soon as possible is the best thing that can be done for animal health.

“These 4-H exhibitors and their families have been extremely supportive of our efforts this year,” said Dr. Marsh.  “We checked the temperatures of about 2,000 hogs during the check-in process, which was a big undertaking. They understand why it’s necessary to take these precautions and they support our efforts to make this a great fair for everyone.”

The cause of the high fevers is not known at this time.  Samples from the hogs sent home have been submitted to the Purdue Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and results will not be known for several days.  There have been no cases of human illness at the Indiana State Fair.

State Fair visitors will continue to access the Swine Barn and view the pigs on Championship Row as well as the “World’s Largest Male Hog” and the Champion Sow and Litter.  The Open Class breeding show will go on as scheduled next week beginning with the Berkshire and Poland China breeds Aug. 14.

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Winchester Community High School Claims State Fair Marsh Band Day Title

After winning the Indiana State Fair Band Day title for the second year in a row, Winchester Community High School can again call itself “Indiana’s Best Band.”  This is Winchester’s third Band Day championship overall.

Winchester’s show entitled “If It Is To Be…It Is Up To Me” also won first place in the preliminary class awards for Class AAA, the toughest class at Band Day.

“It feels so awesome to win it again,” sophomore Kolt Halcomb said. “I’m so happy I can’t even put it into words.”

Winchester students credit the band’s success to their director, Douglas Fletcher. With 12 championships at four different schools between 1989 and 2012, Fletcher holds the record for the most Band Day wins by an individual.

“I am so proud of this group, but I know we wouldn’t be here without Mr. Fletcher,” sophomore Lane Honeycutt said. “He pushes us to be the best and he inspires us to leave a legacy at our school.”

Muncie Southside finished second and Richmond, last year’s runner-up, finished third.  Here is the complete order of finish for tonight’s “Sweet 16”:

  1. Winchester Community High School
  2. Muncie Southside High School
  3. Richmond High School
  4. Northeastern High School
  5. Centerville High School
  6. East Central High School
  7. Jay County High School
  8. Anderson High School
  9. Noblesville High School
  10. Frankton High School
  11. Muncie Central High School
  12. Kokomo High School
  13. Union County High School
  14. Yorktown High School
  15. Mooresville High School
  16. Elwood Community High School

(Photo: Richmond High School)

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Tickle Me Elmo III wins Second World’s Largest Hog title

Boar weighs in at 1,303 pounds

In his third appearance at the Indiana State Fair’s World’s Largest Male Hog Contest, Tickle Me Elmo III tipped the scales at 1,303 pounds, winning the competition by a margin of 343 pounds.

Owner Cory Patton, 22, of Sellersburg, Ind., won the competition with Tickle Me Elmo in 2010, finished in second place in 2011 and earned a another first-place award this year. Tickle Me Elmo is four-and-a-half years old.

“I’ve been showing pigs since I was five or six years old,” Patton said. “I have a lot of fun with it.”

Patton’s competition was Jay Rulon of Arcadia, Ind. His boar, Zeus XL, weighed in at 960 pounds.

Guests can visit Tickle Me Elmo at the north entrance of the Swine Barn during the fair.

(Photo: Cory Patton (right) guides Tickle Me Elmo to the scale.)

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Local food specialties featured at State Fair’s new DuPont Food Pavilion

Pavilion celebrates all components of Indiana’s “food chain”

Everyone loves food. Hoosiers, in particular, love growing it, cooking it and learning about it.  That’s why the fair created the new DuPont Food Pavilion located on Main Street near the iconic Midway Arch. The pavilion teaches fairgoers about the state’s “farm to fork” link while featuring more than 30 Indiana-made specialty food items.

The 16,000 square foot exhibit is dedicated solely to food, the number one reason many folks attend the State Fair.  Visitors can peruse the pavilion’s Hoosier Market where locally-produced items such as Hoosier Mama Bloody Mary Mix and Burton’s Maplewood Farms maple syrup are for sale.

While bringing local favorites home for dinner is great, sampling food is even better. Volunteers at the retail store, sponsored by Indiana Artisan and Indiana Grown, will distribute complimentary samples of local cuisine every day.

“Everyone loves fair food but most Hoosiers don’t realize how many unique food creations Indiana is home to,” said Tim Burton of Burton’s Maplewood Farms. “I’m thrilled to be a part of this new fair tradition and I can’t wait to share some of my favorite syrups and best cooking tips with fairgoers this August.”

Burton and dozens of other local chefs will present interactive cooking demonstration at the pavilion’s Red Gold Culinary Corner. Featured chefs from Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest will also present daily food shows in the state-of-the-art exhibition kitchen.  Fairgoers can discover new recipes, interact with all the food experts and learn how to incorporate Indiana-made foods into every day meals. Demonstrations are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Other exhibits at the pavilion spotlight the issues connected to food, including nutrition and hunger. Purdue University’s MyPlate interactive display offers suggestions on how Hoosiers can ensure a healthy diet for their families. Visitors can also learn about DuPont’s pioneering programs to help feed the hungry.

The pavilion’s retail store and exhibits are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the fair, Aug. 3-19.

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2012 Indiana State Fair Grandstand Schedule

The Indiana State Fair’s Hoosier Lottery Grandstand has a full line-up of activities for 2012.  The long list of competitions, family shows and motor sports scheduled throughout the fair’s 17 days includes the return of the Lucas Oil Indy Mile AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National motorcycle race for the first time since 1998.

Here is the complete list of events:

  • Marsh Band Day – Aug. 3, preliminaries at 9 a.m. ($6 adults, $2 children); finals at 8 p.m. ($10 adults, $4 children). The state’s top high school marching bands compete for bragging rights, cash prizes and trophies.
  • Monster Truck Nationals presented by Lucas Oil – Aug. 4 at 1 and 7 p.m. ($5). Incredible and competitive monster trucks race during one afternoon session and one evening session.
  • Lucas Oil Indy Super Pull – Aug. 5 at 1 and 7 p.m. (Free). Drivers will compete in six different classes during two different pulls.
  • International Circus Hall of Fame – Aug. 6-7 at 2 and 6 p.m. (Free).  The pride of Peru, Ind., brings its elephants, jugglers and trapeze artists for two full days of shows.
  • Timberworks Lumberjack Show – Aug. 8-9 1, 3:30 and 6 p.m. (Free).  This entertaining group of outdoorsmen show-off their axe throwing, pole climbing and log rolling skills during friendly and comedic competitions.
  • Xtreme Action Sports Show pres. by VOICE – Aug. 10 at 2 and 7 p.m. (Free).  World class athletes show off their skateboarding, BMX and motocross skills.
  • Cheerleading Competition – Aug. 11, preliminaries at 10 a.m. ($8 adults, $2 children 6-12, free children 5 and younger); finals at 5 p.m. ($10 adults, $4 children 6-12, free children 5 and younger).  Varsity and Jr. Varsity squads from around the state try to impress the judges and take home the enormous trophy.
  • Great American Wild West Show – Aug. 12-13 at 1 and 6 p.m. (Free).  The Old West comes back to life as cowboys and Native Americans in full costume demonstrate how they used to ride, rope, shoot and dance during a show that’s fun for the whole family.
  • Indiana State Fair Horse Pulls – Aug. 14 at 4 and 8 p.m.  Teams of mighty draft horses show off their incredible strength by pulling weighted sleds down the track.
  • Harness Racing – Aug. 15-16 at 10 a.m. (Free). More than 85 years of harness racing history continues at the Indiana State Fairgrounds as the finest Indiana and Grand Circuit horses compete, with the prestigious Fox Stake scheduled on Aug. 16.
  • Naptown Roller Girls Roller Derby – Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. (Free).  These daring darlings are the fiercest things on four wheels.  With clever nicknames and exciting maneuvers, it’s easy to see why they draw huge crowds throughout the year.
  • Lucas Oil Indy Mile AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National – Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. ($31 and $36, includes State Fair admission).  The dirt around the one-mile Track of Champions will be flying all day long as racers start qualifying at 3 p.m. reaching speeds of up to 120 mph.  Heat races begin at 7:30 and the green flag drops on the Grand National about 9:30.
  • Lucas Oil Demolition Derby – Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m. ($5). This derby is an annual favorite as cars crash into each other until there is just one still running.

Tickets for all paid events are available by calling the Indiana State Fair Box Office at (317) 927-7601 or Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. They are also available online at www.ticketmaster.com.

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“Year of Dairy Cows” at 2012 Indiana State Fair

New Cowtown USA exhibit offers dairy-related activities, snacks

 The Indiana State Fair would be quite different without creamy grilled cheese sandwiches or thick milkshakes in the Dairy Bar. This year, the Indiana State Fair celebrates the value of the dairy industry to Hoosiers with the “Year of Dairy Cows” presented by the American Dairy Association (ADA) of Indiana.

There are more than 1,500 dairy farms in Indiana housing 176,000 cows. These dairy farms produce about 3.5 billion pounds of milk, accounting for nearly $500 million in milk production each year. Hoosiers with a sweet tooth will be proud that Indiana ranks second nationally in ice cream production.

“Dairy brings a great economic benefit to Indiana,” ADA spokesperson Jenni Purcell said. “Not only that, but milk is very nutritious. Dairy farmers are dedicated to and passionate about taking care of their animals and the land.”

Through its partnership with the ADA of Indiana, the Indiana State Fair will feature a number of dairy-related activities to highlight the importance of dairy cows, including:

  • Cowtown USA (Family Fun Park): This exhibit gives visitors the chance to hand-milk a real cow and participate in the pasteurization process. Participants can take part in creating cheese, butter and ice cream. Even better, they get to sample these “homemade” delights when they’re done!
  • Moo Chew Grilled Cheese & Lemon Chiller (Dairy Bar): These are two new food items featured in the Dairy Bar this year. “Moo Chew” is a grilled sandwich with American cheese in between two slices of Pepper Jack on Sourdough bread. “Lemon Chiller” is a lemon-flavored milkshake.
  • Buttercup: The mascot for American Dairy Association of Indiana is at the State Fair to meet and greet fairgoers and represent the dairy industry through the fair’s 17 days.
  • LegenDairy Marketplace (DuPont Food Pavilion): The ADA of Indiana provides information about the nutritional value of dairy products and the importance of Indiana’s dairy industry.
  • Fuel Up to Play 60 tent (Family Fun Park): This kids’ activity teaches youngsters why it’s important to eat nutrient-packed foods and exercise for 60 minutes per day.
  • “Celebrating Dairy Cows” interactive kiosk (Mac Reynolds Barn): This exhibits features facts about dairy cows and the history of the Reynolds farm in Fishers. There are also cow-themed games and photo opportunities.
  • Free “Cow Cup” (Hot Wisconsin Cheese stand between the Ball State Ag/Hort Building and the DuPont Food Pavilion): Mondays ONLY from 9 a.m. to noon, patrons receive a free 32 oz. souvenir “Cow Cup” of soda with the purchase of any cheese item.
  • Cattle Barn (West Pavilion): The ADA of Indiana offers displays on modern dairy farming, cow comfort, robotic milking and the six major dairy breeds.
  • Dairy cow exhibits (Normandy Barn):  Information about Ellen, the world champion milk-producing cow from 1975-1992, will be on display. A carousel milking exhibit will teach visitors about advancements in the dairy industry, and wall panels will provide information about the six breeds of dairy cows.

The State Fair has featured one important Indiana agricultural community since 2007. Previous products featured include corn, pigs, tomatoes, trees (hardwoods) and soybeans.

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Indiana State Fair Free Stage Schedule Released

The 2012 Indiana State Fair is presenting concerts at Bankers Life Fieldhouse including Barry Manilow (Fri, August 3), Train (Sat, August 4), Journey with Pat Benatar and Loverboy (August 8) and Blake Shelton (Fri, August 17), but that does not mean the entertainment will be absent at the fairgrounds.  The “Free Stage” at the 2012 […]

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2011 Indiana State Fair Opening Day In Pictures

It’s Indiana State Fair time again and Naptown Buzz was there on opening day to check things out!

Here are the best photos of the day.


Food on a Stick!


Pigs are everywhere!


More pigs!


Mmmm…Corn Dogs.


Now we’re talking! Deep fried everything!


Try the deep fried butter if you like cinnamon rolls. The Naptown Buzz Crew has yet to try the Kool-Aid.


Fair Food of the Year: Fried Ice Cream.


Pulled lamb & deep fried mac n’ cheese.


Free ice cream from Turkey Hill. They’re rocking the QR codes this year.


Giant corns.


The UPS mini truck.


Lactation station.


Not sure what this does, but it’s old and cool looking.


Maple Syrup & other goodies at the Hoosier Sugar Shack!


Milk truck.


Music in Pioneer Village.


Closest we got to wood carving today.


Splitting a log to make shingles.


The original “juicer”. (At least that’s our story.)


Free range birds.


The surge bucket milker!


“World’s Largest Flag Collection”.


Fair tram #3.


The buzzing bumble bees are busy at the fair too.


Food goodness, Twitter & QR Codes.


King Taters.


We never knew llamas dressed up for Halloween AND there’s a costume contest for it, but we were thrilled to find that out. In this photo we have Jack Skellington & Zero and some sort of prisoner zombie (from what we could tell).


This llama just wants to play baseball.


Bennie the Bean. He stands there and stares a lot in one direction.

Look at all of those potatoes!