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Indiana State Fair unveils basketball-themed entertainment, activities for 2023

Interactive Pacers Sports & Entertainment exhibit at the 2023 Indiana State Fair. (Provided Photo/Indiana State Fair)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The 2023 Indiana State Fair will be jam-packed with ways to celebrate the state that grew the game of basketball.

The theme of this year’s fair, “Celebrating Basketball: The State That Grew The Game” was announced last winter on the basketball court at Gov. Eric Holcomb’s residence in Indianapolis.

Fair officials on Thursday shared details on the hoops-centric experiences fans can expect once they arrive at the Indiana State Fairgrounds:

  • HOOPFEST Outdoor Amusement Park
  • Pacers Sports & Entertainment Immersive Exhibit
  • Land of Legends: Indiana’s Basketball Legacy, in partnership with Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Space Ham: An Augmented Reality Experience
  • “Hoosiers” display featuring Gene Hackman’s 1951 Chevy from the classic film
  • The Evolution of the Game Exhibit
  • The 6th Man Exhibit: Agriculture & Basketball 
  • Hoosier Hardwood Photo Project: A Journey to Indiana’s Historical High School Gyms
  • From Trees to Tip-Off Attraction: Indiana Hardwoods & the Game 
  • Chuck Taylor and Indiana Basketball Exhibit with the Indiana Historical Society
  • Cultural art installations celebrations basketball 
  • Sneaker design contest 

Honoring Hoosier hoops history

The Indiana State Fair is rooted in celebrating all things Indiana Agriculture, including the history of why the game of basketball grew here in Indiana. The game was affordable, and the playing season was based around the farmers’ planting and harvest season in the late 1800s. After each harvest, farm kids could play basketball, and then when the season ended in March, they could go back to the fields for planting. 

Basketball also has a rich history at the fairgrounds. Indiana Farmers Coliseum has hosted high school championship games, the ABA-era Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever Games, All-Star games, and more. Currently, the coliseum is home to the Horizon League Basketball Championships and IUPUI men’s basketball.  

The Indiana State Fairgrounds first opened in 1892 – the same year basketball was introduced in Indiana. Both are two great Hoosier traditions that have stood the test of time.

The Indiana State Fair runs July 28 – August 21 and will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Visit the state fair’s website for more information.