INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Many schools in Indiana are planning to begin the school year earlier this year and Indiana State Fair officials say it could affect fair attendance.
24-Hour News 8 news partner The Herald Bulletin reports many schools are transitioning into a balanced school year that shortens the traditional summer vacation. Schools such as Warren Township, Alexandria, Indianapolis Public Schools and Elwood go back to school this week and next week.
Andy Klotz, a State Fair spokesman, says that means attendance will most likely be a lot lower during the daytime. He says the weekdays used to be steady but that may change.
In 2009, the fair changed to 17 days, which was increased from 12 days to accommodate the earlier school start dates.
"Fair-goer" numbers increased that year although they have decreased ever since. The attendance last year was 853,941 and was the second lowers in 10 years.
Officials say they don't have any plans to start the fair any earlier in upcoming years to accommodate early school starts. They are hoping the fair's events – new and old – will beef up attendance numbers.
This year's theme is year of the popcorn. Free popcorn will be given away in the Farm Bureau building and visitors will see popcorn-themed booths, a popcorn maze and the world's largest popcorn ball.
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