What a fun day at the Indiana State Fair!
This was my first daytime visit to the 2016 Fair and I got to spend time with my dear mom and fabulous sister.
Mom recently had knee surgery so we tested out the handicapped parking at the Indiana School for the Deaf (42nd Street) and it worked wonderfully. We were able to park right by the sidewalk and street. We just had to cross the street to get into the Fairgrounds.
My only real goal for the day was to take the Architectural Trolley Tour of the Fairgrounds. Mom wanted to visit the Indiana Arts Building and Beth was interested in the Indiana Bicentennial Pavilion.
I had it in my head that the trolley tour started at 10:00, even though I'd written in yesterday's wrap up that it started at 11:00, so we arrived freakishly early. Since we were already at the DNR Building we looked at the exhibits there (ATVs scare me even more!) and the items in the gift shop. We walked ambled towards the FFA Building, stopping for iced tea and popping into the State Fair Bakery - quite possibly the only building in the Fairgrounds I haven't been in.
Mom fed baby goats in the FFA Petting Zoo and we shopped in the FFA Marketplace. The shop carries all Indiana-made products and the proceeds are donated to FFA. Mom and I are both hooked on the Olympia Caramels.
Mom has more willpower than I do, I think I finished my packet before we left the Fairgrounds.
We got back to the DNR Building in time for the tour. We got about a fourth of the way around the Fairgrounds before the rain started, smearing my notes. I'll just add bits and pieces of the architectural history over the course of the next few days and as my notes dry out.
The Swine Barn was known as the "Pig Palace" when it was built in 1923. The brick, steel, and tile building with concrete floors was posh for its time, and it still serves its purpose well over 90 years later. Be sure and look up at the outside of the building when you walk in - notice the hog's head sculptures in round glazed terra-cotta medallions.
Terra-cotta was a new building material in that era and very popular. The architects, J. Edwin Kopf and Woolling added the fun touch touch and the theme can be seen throughout the Fairgrounds. The swine barn is built in the Arts and Crafts style, popular for houses at the time. There are fewer examples of the style in commercial buildings. The barn’s tapestry-laid brick work and bands of colored tiles are lovely examples of the style.
We also learned that the Midway has been in the same spot since the State Fair moved to the current site in 1892. As folks arrived on the Monon railroad, that would have been their first view of the Fair!
The rain continued, but we didn't care - it was lunch time. Pork chop for me, rib-eye sandwiches for Beth and Mom. Our next stop was the Indiana Bicentennial Pavilion.
We had great fun in there. Mom treated us to commemorative Bicentennial coins and I purchased the Indiana at 200
We got our photograph taken in front of a green screen and the Indiana Bicentennial folks added some Hoosie r
touches and emailed us the photo.
There were several fun photo opportunities - here I am with the Bicentennial Torch.
Our last stop was the Indiana Arts Building to look at all of the wonderful handicrafts, antiques, culinary projects, and my entry into the Ugly Lamp contest.
All and all it was a perfect day at the great Indiana State Fair!
Nora Spitznogle can still recite the 4-H pledge by heart and is an unabashed Indiana State Fair geek. She hasn't missed a single day of the Fair in over a decade and the stack of ribbons from entering baking competitions and ugly lamp contests in the Open Show are among her prized possessions.