INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The 2018 Indiana State Fair officially opened on Friday, with changes to security measures to protect fairgoers.
The summer mainstay in Indianapolis is marking its 162nd year.
For the first time this year, fairgoers will have to go through new security checkpoints that include metal detectors.
It’s all part of a new push to keep people visiting the annual event safe.
“I was asking my son, ‘So when did this happen?'” said Anne Smith, who was at the fair Friday night. “But, I can understand why that would happen with some of the things going on in our world. And making people feel comfortable, safe and secure, that’s important.”
The fair now has metal detectors at all pedestrian gates.
Two years ago, the fair began using wands at gate entrances.
Last year, they had metal detectors at selected gates.
“They had the new security in place, and I was very pleased to see that,” said Karen Willits, who attended the fair Friday evening. “It makes me feel so much safer.”
With thousands of people expected to enjoy the sights and sounds of the annual extravaganza, fairgoers say they don’t mind the change.
“I guess that’s the way society is,” said Jason Crist. “I’m definitely more comfortable coming in.”
“They just gently looked in your bags,” Smith explained. “They asked you to place your keys and your cell phone. It was very quick. It was very simple. It was very painless.”
“It was very seamless,” said Willits. “We got through it very quickly and very easily. They were very kind to us.”
The Indiana State Fair runs until Aug. 19.