I had a self-imposed moratorium on bringing any more plastic cups into my life. Until I saw this kernel of sweetness. And the sweet corn was extra-delicious also. 

It was hard to know where to be on the Fairgrounds Friday evening.

The Indigo Girls put on an amazing show on the Free Stage. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers sounded great and charmed the crowd – including the kiddos doing perfect one-handed cartwheels in the lawn.

Walking away in the middle of the concert would  have been unthinkable for most people, but the inaugural Light Up the Night was getting ready to start.

Illuminated antique tractors parading in front of the Grandstand – be still my heart! 


The event exceeded my expectations. In addition to the tractors and miniature ponies and farmers there were dignitaries wearing light-up vests, a recitation of Paul Harvey’s 1978 speech, So God Made a Farmer, and the iconic jazz and gospel vocalist Everett Greene sang the Star Spangled Banner.

All and all a fitting kickoff to the Year of the Farmer. 

I'm on a quest to take a selfie with a farmer each day of the Fair and I'm thrilled that I got to take the first one with the legendary Mauri Williamson. Mauri started Pioneer Village at the Fairgrounds the year I was born - you'll have to visit Pioneer Village to find out how old I am - and I get all blushy and tongue-tied when I see him.  

My picks for Saturday:

10:00 & 2:00 – Vintage Farm Machinery in Action. They fire up the steam engines and old tractors and demonstrate how it all works. The program is sprinkled with humor and history. [Pioneer Village]

Noon – Youth Talent Contest [Farm Bureau Building]

1:00 - Llama and Alpacas Open Costume Show. You read that right. Llama’s in costume. Not to be missed. [Champions Pavilion (between the Coliseum and Swine Barn] 

  I’ll see you there! 

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. The stack of ribbons from entering baking competitions and ugly lamp contests in the Open Show are among her prized possessions.


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