Excitement grows for 2021 Indiana State Fair with a few scheduling tweaks

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Get ready to enjoy your favorite fair foods and rides and to see all the animals, even though the schedule will a bit different than it has been in past years.

Officials announced Tuesday that the 2021 Indiana State Fair will return this summer.

“Yeah, that’s awesome. I love going to the fair. I loved going with my daughter, whether it was a concert, whether it was a ride, the food, everything!” said Dan Dakich of Indianapolis.

For many Hoosiers, Tuesday’s announcement was a long time coming. The 2020 fair was scaled back to only limited-participation 4-H contests because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Khyran DeLay of Indianapolis said, “I’m very happy that it’s coming back. It gives us something to do, because this city needs it. You know what I’m saying? Positives.”

The days that the fair is open will change a bit. It’ll be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but a weekend will be added to the front end of the schedule, July 30-Aug. 22.

This year’s theme is is “Celebrating The Hoosier Spirit and all things Indiana”

Sharon Smith, communications director for the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center, told News 8, “We really want to uplift the resiliency Hoosiers and the grit that we tend to display in tough times. We just think that’s a real positive way to kind of step into the summer.”

The fair is also a good thing for families in the 4-H youth program. Smith said, “4-H competitions are very very important and a huge part of our mission at the Indiana State Fair. So, it’s just great to see those kids be able to compete and to elevate 4-H youth in that way. We’re, again, thrilled for 4-H families that are able to come back later this summer.”

What about COVID-19 safety protocols? Smith said, “We will continue to work closely with state public health officials and the Indiana State Department of Health to monitor the situation, and, closer to the event, we’ll have a better understanding of what safety and wellness protocols will need to be in place.”

However the safety protocols happen, Dakich told News 8 people will follow the rules. “Got to be smart; wear your mask when necessary, social distance, do everything that everybody tells you. But, hey, they’re open for business, so let’s go! Let’s go have some fun this summer!”


“We have almost three full months before we open the 2021 Indiana State Fair, and we are confident that with our 250+ acre, mostly outdoor campus we will be able to host our Fair late this summer.

“We are thankful to the State Department of Health for their collaboration and continued guidance on getting us back to hosting this important community event.”

“We know this year’s State Fair may look a little different, and we are prepared for that. By adding an additional weekend, it allows us to spread Fair attendance across a new weekend. This event matters to our State and our fairgoers; it’s an important part of annual Hoosier family traditions.”

Cindy Hoye, executive director, Indiana State Fair Commission