The Ultimate Indiana State Fair Guide

 The Ultimate Indiana State Fair Guide

Want to make the best of your visit to the Indiana State Fair? You’ve come to the right article! This guide to the Indiana State Fair will offer tips, general information, and insights on making the most out of your time at the fair! The Indiana State Fair has been a Hoosier tradition since 1852, this 18-day event is packed FULL of activities, rides, concerts, and food. The 2022 theme is Celebrating Indiana’s Automotive Excellence.

2022 State Fair Information

Dates: July 29 – August 21 (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

Admission Hours:

Wednesdays: 9AM – 10PM (Last Entry at 8PM)
Thursdays: 9AM – 11PM (Last Entry at 8PM)
Fridays: 9AM – 11PM (Last Entry at 8PM)
Saturdays: 9AM – 11PM (Last Entry at 8PM)
Sundays: 9AM – 10PM (Last Entry at 8PM)

Building & Exhibit Halls:

Wednesday – Sunday: 9AM – 8PM
General Building Hours: 9AM – 8PM
Ag/Hort Shopping District: 9AM – 9PM
4-H Exhibit Hall Hours: 9AM – 6PM
Harvest Pavilion: 9AM – 9PM

Midway Hours:

Wristbands not sold after 8:30PM or accepted after 10PM

Monday & Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: NOON – 10PM
Thursday: NOON – 11PM
Friday – Sunday: 11AM – 11PM
Sunday August 21: 11AM – 10PM

Admission Cost:
Advance Discount Online: $10 + convenience fee (Offer Ends July 28 @11:59PM ET)
Family 4-Pack (Online only): $40 + convenience fee (4 tickets & 1 parking pass. Ends July 28 @11:59PM ET)
General Admission: $14
Children 5 & Under: FREE

Advanced Discount Online: $8 + convenience fee (Offer Ends July 28 @11:59PM ET)
Online: $10 (Available July 29 through August 21)
Gate Parking Price: $10

Disclaimer: Blog posts may contain affiliate links and/or ads. When you click on these links I may earn a small commission that helps keep this blog running and support my family. This is at no cost to you. If you have any questions, feel free to read my disclaimer and privacy policy. As media, I receive a Media Pass to the Indiana State Fair. As always, opinions are my own.Thank you!

New to 2022 at the Indiana State Fair
  • The Canine Stars Stunt Dog Show – as seen on AMERICA’S GOT TALENT! The Canine Stars Stunt Dog Show will be held at the MHS Family Fun Park from August 3 through August 21. Daily FREE shows (with paid fair admission) at 12 pm, 3 pm, and 5:30 pm.
  • Momma Town – educational petting zoo available at the Expo Hall every day of the fair from 9 am to 8 pm.
  • The Flying Fools High Dive – daily FREE show times are 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 5 pm, and 7 pm.
  • STRONGMAN Mighty Mike Show – is back this year! Show daily along Main Street at 1 pm, 3:30 pm and 6 pm.
  • USA Mullet Championships – Saturday, July 30th at 2 pm (you’ll see a lot of mullets around the fair this day!)
  • Backyard Brats & Brews – new in 2021 but expanded this year to double in size, adding more games, comfortable seating areas and entertainment!
  • State Fair Art Installations  – check out the multiple NEW art installations throughout this year’s State Fair! Fair-goers will find a photo opp at every turn to capture a favorite family memory!
Tips for saving money at the fair

The fair can get very expensive! Especially if you have a family (as a family of six, we feel this!), so here are a few tips for saving money.

  • Purchase your tickets in advance. There is a special discount for purchasing your tickets in advance, online. You can also take advantage of the Family Packages that offer discounted family ticket packages.
  • Check out the “Deals & Discounts” page on the Indiana State Fair website.
  • $3 Thursday. Every Thursday gate admission to the fair will only be $3. Additionally, Midway rides and food options will be available at each food stands for $3 as well.
  • Take advantage of all the FREE things to do at the fair. Here is a list of 100 free things to do there!
  • Bike to the fair. If you choose to bike to the fair (rather than drive and park), there is free, secured bike parking AND you’ll save $1 off of your admission. The bike racks are available on the Monon Trail at 38th Street (enter through Gate 18) and at Fall Creek Parkway & 39th Street. Available Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from 10 am – 9 pm, and Thursdays or Saturdays from 10 am – 11 pm.
  • Stop by the State Fair Information Booths at Gate 6 and Gate 12 for a fair map and FREE sunscreen!
  • Bring your own bottled water and snacks. Yes, you are allowed to bring in your own, especially if you have little ones – just remember you may not be allowed to bring this into certain areas AND you must carry it around. Please remember to dispose of your trash.

Indiana State Fair Entertainment
  • FREE Stage – with more than a dozen nights of popular artists, there is bound to be a night you’ll want to take advantage of the free entertainment stage (free with admission). All seating is first-come, first-serve so you’ll want to arrive early!
  • Hoosier Lottery Grandstand – attendance to these is free or may require a paid ticket (see schedule and ticket options here).
  • Midway Rides & Games – No fair is complete without the good ole carnival rides. Individual Midway tickets will be $1.50 each or you can purchase a wristband onsite during the Fair for $40, or online (in advance only) for a discount of $25 +convenience fee. The Ball State Cardinal Super Wheel, a 150-feet-tall Ferris wheel with 36 individual climate-controlled gondolas (tickets are $10/person). The Sleep Number Skyrider will be available for $6 a rider (or 4 Midway tickets, wristbands are not valid on the Skyride).
  • Family Fun Park – Open daily from 9 am – 8 pm, the Family Fun Park is great for all ages. Go-Karts and pony rides for the little ones will be available in this area for an additional fee.
Family Fun Park
  • Pioneer Village – Located between the Machinery Field and the Family Fun Park, you’ll step back into the 1800s with a visit to the village.
  • Livestock Buildings & Barns – Are you interested in meeting the sheep, horses, rabbits, llamas, alpacas, mules, donkeys, cattle, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and goats of the 4-H fair? You’ll be able to visit them in these buildings.
Livestock barns
2022 Indiana State Fair Food

Twenty-two new State Fair foods have been announced for the 2022 season! Take a look at what you’ll find. What will you try this year? You can see a description and photos of all the State Fair foods here. Fair goers can vote on their favorite fair foods at the Information Booths or by scanning the QC codes displayed at each participating “Taste of the Fair” concession stands.

  • Bison Lettuce Wrap (Offered by Red Frazier Bison)
  • Flamin’ Hot Cheetos walking taco (Offered by Meatball Factory LLC)
  • Carmel Corn (Offered by Sun King)
  • Pickle Pizza (Offered by Swains Concessions)
  • Deep Fried Brownies (Offered by R&W Concessions)
  • Deep Fried Cheese Stick (Offered by R&W Concessions)
  • Peach Shake Up (Offered by R&W Concessions)
  • Iced Mocha Coffee Float (Offered by Hooks Drug Store Museum)
  • Boba Fun Cup (Offered by Goodwin’s Pork-N-More)
  • Nitro Fuel (Offered by Goodwin’s Pork-N-More)
  • State Fair Charcuterie Board (Offered by Urick Concessions)
State Fair Charcuterie Board (Offered by Urick Concessions)
  • State Fair Mary (Offered by Urick Concessions)
  • The Original Cowpie (Offered by Indiana Ribeye)
  • Vegan Nachos (Offered by Black Leaf Vegan)
  • Pretzel Nacho Bites (Offered by Wilson Concessions)
  • New Crispy Chicken Sandwich (Offered by Wilson Concessions)
  • Lemon Shake Up Canned Cocktail (Offered by Hi and Mighty)
  • Pit-tatoes (Offered by Indiana Pork Producers Association)
  • Pit-Tatoes, pulled pork, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, and sour cream.
  • Mint Cookie Milkshake served with crumbled Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies.
  • Quick Quesadilla (Offered by American Dairy Association Indiana Inc.)
  • Mac Diggity Corn Dog (Offered by Gobble Gobble Food Truck)

Indiana State Fair Parking
  • Parking: Parking is first-come/first-serve and is $10 at the gate. You can purchase a parking pass online for $10 + a convenience fee. Parking available at the Fairgrounds Infield, South Lot (38th Street) and at the Indiana School for the Deaf (42nd Street)
  • Accessible Parking – inside of Gate 1 (38th Street entrance)
  • Drop Off – if you are being dropped off by someone (Uber, Lyft, etc.), have your ride use address 3700 Woodland Avenues, Indianapolis, IN 46205 for the rideshare drop-off location.
  • Park ‘n Petal – Save $1 off Fair admission when you ride your bicycle to the State Fair and use one of the free secured bicycle racks available off the Monon Trail north of 38th Street and the NEW location at Fall Creek Parkway and 39th Street.
  • IndyGo Public Transportation – Take IndyGo Routes 4 & 39 for drop-off to the State Fair entrance.
Tips & Rules to know ahead of time
  • All permitted bags, purses, and fanny packs are subject to search.
  • Only service animals are permitted into the fair, no pets.
  • Smoking is prohibited except in the designated smoking areas.
  • You may leave and re-enter the fair the SAME day with a hand-stamp. A new hand stamp will be used each day, and are available only until 7 pm each day.
  • No person in possession of a deadly weapon shall be permitted onto or be permitted to remain on the Fairgrounds (including knives); any person properly licensed to carry a firearm must secure the firearm in a locked compartment of his/her vehicle and it shall not be visible to a passerby.
  • Wear comfortable shoes! Lots of walking to be had at the fair. A free shuttle service is available for anyone who wants a lift around the fair (please note the shuttle gets pretty full & there is often a wait on busy days).
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