Indiana State Fair opens Friday with hot air balloon launch, free concerts

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 7, 2015) – The Indiana State Fair opens Friday to kick off more than two weeks of fun at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Hot air balloons launched from the infield of the Indiana State Fairgrounds Friday morning to celebrate. Gov. Mike Pence and First Lady Karen Pence watched the launch.

Karen Pence said she watched the balloon launch from the windows of her childhood home growing up in Indianapolis.

“There’s nothing like the Indiana State Fair,” said Gov. Pence. “As a place where we really celebrate our past, present and future, it gives a chance to celebrate so many good things about communities large and small in the State of Indiana.”

State Fair safety crews checked all 47 rides Thursday including each car, restraint and track that will be in use. The inspection is rigorous and mandatory. The proper paperwork including documents on ride maintenance and training records must be filed with the Department of Homeland Security. Crews say the public can notify the attendant if they find a safety hazard, like a broken part or an operating issue.

“Take a look at the ride before you get on it. Is there anything that concerns you? Is the operator being attentive?,” said ‎Senior Public Information Officer at Indiana Department of Homeland Security Amber Kent.

When it comes to severe weather safety, State Fair officials say they’re ready to help you.

“We have an extensive team and a meteorologist on staff that makes sure to analyze that so that we can make sure to have the proper things and announcements in place to get people where they need to be,” said Lesley Gordon with the Indiana State Fair.

Those announcements are delivered through the public address system and these loud speakers. The Indiana State Fair also has a smart phone app to check out things in your area of the fairgrounds.

State Fair general admission costs $12. Kids 5 and under get in free. On Friday, admission is free for college students who show their active college student ID.

The fair runs from Aug. 7 through Aug. 23. The theme for 2015 is “Year of the Farmer.” Find more information at the Indiana State Fair’s website.

Here’s the fair schedule for Friday:

  • 6:15 a.m. – The Giant Hot Air Balloon Launch
  • 8:30 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies
  • 10 a.m. & 2 p.m. – Calgary Stampede Show Band at the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand
  • 11 a.m. Ribbon Cutting for Habitat for Humanity Ag Home Builds (north side of Fairgrounds)
  • 12 p.m.-11 p.m. – Ride Survival in the Midway ($20 unlimited rides Friday through Aug. 9)
  • 3 p.m. – Gold Medal Flour Cookie Contest at Home & Family Arts Culinary Stage
  • 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. – Xpogo Stunt Team in the Family Fun Park
  • 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m., & 6 p.m. – The Stars of the Peking Acrobats in Dow AgroSciences Celebration Park
  • 7:30 p.m. – Indigo Girls perform free concert in Dow AgroSciences Celebration Park
  • 8 p.m. – World’s Largest Male Hog Contest Champion Sow and Litter Contest at the Swine Barn
  • 9 p.m. – Light Up the Night pres. by Reynolds Farm Equipment

You’ll find several concerts throughout the entire fair. Here’s a look at that schedule:

  • August 7: Indigo Girls at 7:30 p.m.
  • August 8: Morris Day & The Time at 7:30 p.m.
  • August 9: Hispanic/Latino Music Festival presented by Honda featuring Los Caminantes de Humberto Navarro from 12p.m – 8p.m.
  • August 10: Rodney Atkins presented by WFMS at 7:30 p.m.
  • August 12: Happy Together Tour with The Turtles; The Association; Mark Lindsay; The Grass Roots; The Buckinghams and The Cowsills at 7:30 p.m.
  • August 13: Creedence Clearwater Revisited at 7:30 p.m.
  • August 14: Return of the Dukes: John Schneider & Tom Wopat at 7:30 p.m.; including photo ops with the General Lee from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • August 16: Contemporary Christian Music Fest with Colton Dixon from 2 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • August 17: Village People at 7:30 p.m.
  • August 18: Big & Rich presented by HANK-FM and Royal Pin Leisure Centers at 7:30 p.m.
  • August 19: Craig Morgan presented by HANK-FM and Royal Pin Leisure Centers at 7:30 p.m.
  • August 20: KC & the Sunshine Band at 7:30 p.m.
  • August 21: “Nashville” stars Lennon and Maisy presented by RTV6 at 6:30 p.m. and The Henningsens Presented by Beck’s Hybrids to follow at approximately 8 p.m.
  • August 22: Rusted Root at 7:30 p.m.
  • August 23: Wild Cherry Pepsi Gospel Music Day with special guest Ms. LaShun Pace of the legendary Pace Sisters from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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