In Indiana, one event like no other signifies that the long, hot summer is about to end: the State Fair. Time once again to walk among the cows, rabbits, and hogs with people in tank tops, wife-beaters, and NASCAR T-shirts. Time once again to taste the delightful stickiness of the elephant ear, and to drink the refreshing tartness of the lemon shake-up.
This year, the 150th Great Indiana State Fair runs from August 9th to the 20th. Tonight, Michael W. Smith, Third Day & Jars of Clay will be in concert in the grandstand. To satisfy lovers of country music, Rascal Flatts (August 11), Big & Rich (August 15) and Brad Paisley (August 18) will be performing. To satisfy lovers of American Idol, the Idols themselves will perform on August 17 - we'll have to see if Katharine McPhee will be well enough to attend. The 4-H Sale of Champions will take place next week on Wednesday, August 16. Of course, all visitors to the fair must walk through the Pathway to Water Quality since it's usually the highlight of the day - and a chance to get a cold drink.
Epicurious listed the top ten state fairs, but Indiana was not among them. However, our neighbor to the east, Ohio, made it on the list. I'm a native of Dayton, so I've made several trips to the Ohio State Fair.
Some state fair trivia:
- Texas is usually the largest fair, with Ohio running a close second
- Texas, held near downtown Dallas, opens from September 29 to October 22 this year, running 24 days
- Ohio usually features the Butter Cow
- Florida has one of the first state fairs of the year, and will take place from February 8 to 19 in 2007