Blue ribbon 4-H members from all of over the State bring their best vegetables to the Indiana State Fair for competition. The beautiful watermelons and squash and tomatoes won't look so great after sitting on a paper plate and getting poked at by hundreds of Fair visitors. 

For years I would see people looking at wilted carrots and hear people ask, "How did that win?" I wanted to explain that those poor carrots have been there for weeks - that the kids needed to bring them days before the Fair starts, blah blah blah, but at some point my knowledge of the ways of the Fair just seem obsessive and creepy to passersby.

For the last six years the veggies have been donated to Second Helpings after being on display through the first weekend. This year the 925 pounds of nutritious produce are being used to create meals that will be given at no charge to other social service agencies. I get goose bumps just thinking about it! 

Yay 4-H members and the Purdue Extension Agency! 

I arrived at Indiana State Fair on Monday just in time for the Daily Parade. 

It was Military Day at the Fair - there was free admission for members of the military and their family members. This Navy band kicked off the parade. 

Then there were tractors. Lots of glorious antique tractors. 

I crashed Erin and Babz State Fair outing and they turned me on to the "corn in a cup" at the Lion's Club tent. 

You can also order it the traditional on-the-cob way, I appreciated the chance to have yet another ear of corn without dripping butter on my dress. 

We took a spin around the cow barn and through the Expo Hall - it has to take a special breed of folks to be able to shill their wares in the Expo Hall. There are some great things in there - I purchased a PUP wallet and Market Square Arena tee shirt. 

I got a soda from the fountain in the Hook's Museum and stocked up on my supply of vintage image State Fair postcards (5/$2). 

#selfiewithafarmer - This is Bill Leininger from Akron, Indiana. He is on the State Fair Board of Directors and he and his family raise sheep. 

It was another great evening of wandering aimlessly around the Fairgrounds. Even the walk home in the rain wasn't too bad - although the program I used to help cover my head might not make it through all 17 days of the Fair. 

Tuesday picks: 

1:00 PM = Hands On Making Butter with Miss Marilyn. [Pioneer Village Farm Wife's Front Porch] 

6:30 PM - Bill Bailey with Hands On Rhythm. You know the guy that you see with the washboard and spoons in the parade? That's Bill. He also books all of the music for the Pioneer Village State. [Pioneer Village Stage] 

Nora Spitznogle is a nonprofit director by day and year-round 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.