Metal Detectors, Big Top Circus Greet Visitors At The Indiana State Fair


Staff Report

INDIANAPOLIS—For Charlie Ogborn and his daughter, Hailey, the start of the 2018 Indiana State Fair was the daddy-daughter day.

Ogborn and his daughter were among the first through the new security metal detectors Friday morning as the state’s annual homage to all things agriculture kicked off.


“We want to see the circus, the new petting zoo,” Ogborn said of what was on his agenda for the day.

The Big Top Circus is the theme of the 162nd state fair, which opened under bright blue skies with the hot air balloon launch outside and with the annual ham and pork breakfast sponsored by the Indiana Pork Producers inside.

There, early morning fairgoers had a chance to mingle with Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly and his Republican challenger, Mike Braun, as well as Republican Sen. Todd Young and Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Holcomb, addressing the breakfast crowd, joked about how it takes pork on the menu to get people to turn out before turning to Donnelly and saying, “Speaking of pork, how much bacon would it take for a yes vote on Judge Kavanaugh?”

Holcomb was referring to President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Donnelly, who has not yet said how he will vote on the nomination, got his turn at the microphone and told the governor that he saw his niece roll her eyes at that remark.


Attorney General Curtis Hill put in an appearance as well. Hill, a Republican, is being pressured to resign from office after he was accused of groping four women at a downtown Indianapolis bar after the last night of the regular legislative session in March. He has refused and has continued business as usual.

The actual event to launch the 2018 state fair took place inside the giant circus tent erected next to the Farm Bureau building at the fairgrounds where visitors got a rundown of the some of the highlights of the next two-plus weeks.

In addition to three circus performances every day, there will be daily showings of the circus-themed film, The Greatest Showman; a pioneer village showing life as it was a century ago; livestock displays; and assorted fried foods, including the deep-fried sugar cream pie.

Getting into the fair might be more of a hassle as visitors must pass through a metal detector to gain access. General admission is $13 at the gate while children 5 years and younger get in free. Parking is $5.

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