Beautiful weather kicks off Indiana State Fair

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The weather doesn't get much better than it was Friday for opening day of the Indiana State Fair.

Gates opened at 6 a.m. on Friday, as giant hot air balloons lifted off at sunrise, signaling the start of the fair.

The grounds quickly filled up for a picture-perfect afternoon.

"It's a beautiful day," said Brian McCarty.

McCarty and his wife came to the fair with their four kids. They go back to school Monday and wanted to have a fun afternoon, one last time.

"It is the last hurrah for summer," said McCarty.

Opening day brings year two for the Indiana Wine & Beer Exhibition at Grand Hall. It was a tremendous success last year, its inaugural year, according to fair staff. This year, the fair will feature more than 35 Indiana breweries and 25 wineries throughout the month. The five concerts in the coliseum will also sell alcoholic beverages, a first.

Perhaps the biggest hit is the food, with fried being the key word.

We found friend cookies, candy, and cookie dough, with the promise that it isn't that bad for you.

"It's only two calories," said Pat Best, a vendor.

So how to do you have a flawless state fair experience? Lesley Gordon with the Indiana State Fair said it's all about making a plan before you get to the fairgrounds. Luckily, they have you covered.

"I would say play ahead, use the web site, or visit the app to find out what kind of food you want to do, if you're riding rides, find those discount days. If you've got a big group, use the discount day where you can bring a whole carload," she said.

Gordon also advises downloading the Indiana State Fair app for your phone. You can find all useful information on the app and even pay for tickets.

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