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Indiana State Fair: Rides, 130+ food stands prepare for opening day

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Thursday, the state fire marshal inspected all the Indiana State Fair rides to make sure that everyone is safe.

It comes as the state fair is just hours away from opening on Friday. The fair will run through Aug. 20 but be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays at the state fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St.

Tens of thousands of people will make their way to the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center, but a lot has happened before Day 1 to assure everyone has a safe and fun time.

Von Scott, deputy section chief for amusement rides with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, said, “We want everybody that comes here to enjoy themselves and not have to worry about any injuries or anything like that.”

From the roller coasters to the Cliffhanger ride and the carousels, ride inspectors on Thursday made sure all were running smoothly. “We have inspected about 50 rides and not had any major violations, so we’re looking good,” Scott said.

Scott said that inspectors each day will go around and check the rides periodically to make sure that they are working properly. Staff are also asking that if something doesn’t look right to report it right away.

“We have our ride stickers that have when we were there last, has punched that we were there on such and such day. If you come across anything that may be wrong, there’s an 800 number on the ride that you can call,” Scott said.

Amongst the rides are the food vendors, and News 8 got a first taste of the new Cherry Lemonade Twister. There’s also the Indiana Hardwood Nachos, the Dirty Dog, and the Lemon Drop Drizzle, and Deep Fried Corn on a Stick.

Anna Whelchel, chief marketing and sales officer at the fair, said, “I have to have a corn on the cob and a lemon shake-up for breakfast opening day. I have to have a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch that same day. We have over 130 food stands, so there’s really something for everybody.”

“Come early in the day and stay the whole day. There’s enough to do. This is a 250-acre campus that we program almost every square inch of.”

Fairgoers were also encouraged to visit the different places with air conditioning during the forecasted hot temperatures.