INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The first day of summer means fair season and that means the Marion County fair opens Friday.
Like last year, the fair is about a month earlier than it has been the other 81 years. Officials changed the schedule last year and moved the fair up. They say the move was nothing short of beneficial for a number of reasons.
There were a number of reasons the dates were changed from June to July.
First organizers want the fair to go on before the hot, uncomfortable, sticky days of summer. The president says that helped boost attendance last year.
Secondly, it helps the kids who participate in the 4H program; it dials back their busy summer.
"It allows the kids to have some sort of a summer vacation because before in July they would have to go to the state fair and there is only a week in between so now it gives them an opportunity to have time with their family, take a break and we're not competing with other activities throughout the city of Indianapolis." President of the Marion County Fair, Cathy Clark told 24-Hour News 8.
The law enforcement has a message for anyone heading to a fair this summer.
The Department of Homeland Security and Indiana State Police are giving that friendly yet serious reminder - to be alert at all times and if you see anything out of the ordinary, speak up.
To be proactive, the Marion County Fair took down the huge concert stage because they felt it was unsafe.
Officials also say don't get on a ride if broken parts are visible and to have a plan in place in case severe weather rolls in.
"Whenever the fair is open, Marion County sheriff's (deputies) are here on the grounds, they have their own building," said Ron Phillips, Marion County Fair Board member. "They do their own weather monitoring as well as we have our own weather monitoring in our administration building. We have EMT's on duty as well as fireman every night that we're open and their here for our safety and there are buildings that we can take respite in as well."
The fair costs $5 at the door and children ages 5 and younger get in free. Those that show a military ID get in free, too.
Bring a non-perishable food item and knock a dollar off the ticket price - part of the state wide campaign to "stomp out hunger."
The food item will be donated to Gleaners Food bank
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