Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Great Indiana State Fair

John and I went to the Indiana State Fair with our friends Dave (left) and Ken (middle). Dave is a one person PR department for the fair. Sadly, he'll never be the State Fair Queen, but if they ever decide to have a State Fair King, Dave would surely receive the first crown.

You see, Dave, a dyed in the wool Hoosier and former 4-H'r (who recites the four pillars whenever the term 4-H is mentioned) may rub elbows with New York and Indiana socialites now, but he has a past of working in the Dairy Pavilion at the fair. It was here that he absorbed a radioactive dose of Indiana State Fair dust so powerful that it permeated every cell of his body. Now every year he makes at least five trips to the fair and can reel off fifty reasons why you should do the same.

Fair dust is so potent that Ken, just by being around David year after year has taken on the same fair passion. And, he's not even a native Hoosier (from Erie, PA).


Fair food is varied and plentiful. It is not, however, all created equal. Dave and Ken know right where to go for the best of everything, whether it is roasted corn (head to the Jaycee's booth) or ribeye steak sandwiches (Cattelmen's pavilion).

One of the must see stops for us was the Agriculture/Horticulture (AgHort) Building, where all of the best fruits, vegetables, flowers and trees are displayed. Looking at the best of the best is an intense experience so the fair provides an organist in the middle of the exhibit hall to keep things from getting out of hand. I haven't heard organ music this good since Batesville's own Hassell Kimbrough played two organs at the same time (no lie) for three hours straight during my sister's wedding reception.


One of the highlights of the evening was seeing the "World's Largest Boar." I called him Smiley. I don't know what his real name was, but he was huge and definately a "he". I know it's rude to say such things and I opted not to photograph the evidence, but this pig was packin'.

My camera died before we got to the Home and Family Arts building and the midway. We did manage to ride some rides. The Twister was my favorite. I'd never seen it before, but it was like a big Tilt-a-Whirl that went up on its side. The guy running it gave our car a good bonus spin before it started, too.

If you're ever visiting Indiana in August, you owe yourself a big slice of Americana and a funnel cake. Come on out to the Great Indiana State Fair (official title). Ken and Dave are excellent fair hosts, and chances are they will already be there waiting for you.


Anonymous Dave-'06 GISF tour guide said...

As the self-appointed official 2006 Great Indiana State Fair tour guide, each participant with my group will receive one complimentary deep fried cheese stick with marinara sauce (no double dipping). Enjoy and can't wait to see 'ya!

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Sally said...

Isn't The Great Indiana State Fair the best? You did forget to mention the deep-fried specialty of the year, the deep-fried Reese Cup. I can't wait until next year.

10:10 AM  
Blogger sirrom said...

Troy: Do you think the powers-that-be could arrange for deep fried fudge topping? If so I might give 'er a go. And Roberto D would also be interested. Wonder if Duran was tested for chocolate before/after the fight? Just curious. P.S. You go Smiley!!!

6:49 PM  
Blogger Troy said...

Yum! That sounds good. I don't think there isn't anything some fair vendor won't deep fry.

Sally, did you actually eat one of the fried Reeses Cups? If so how did they taste? I was tempted.

We did see the "Deep Fried Twinkie the Kid" running around in a big costume. At least I think he was supposed to be fried. His costume could have just been really old.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous jennie said...

I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, my health to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world.


8:02 AM  
Anonymous Sally said...

My husband Carl and I each had an order of the deep fried Reese Cups. They were really very tasty, the peanut butter didn't melt which I think is a good thing, because you would have one mess on your hands (and everything else). The only bad part was trying to eat something very hot when it is 90+ outside.

8:40 AM  

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