INDIANAPOLIS — It’s back and hoping to be better than ever before! Yes, it’s the Indiana State Fair, which will be returning this summer after it was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19.
Jim Stone has co-owned Georgia’s Kitchen, a fair and event food stand, for 20 years. Seven of those years were spent at the state fair.
“Everybody loves the state fair, year after year after year and we’re so excited it’s coming back,” Stone said.
Stone said the fair is the biggest event the family business does all year. He believes families are going to flock to the fairgrounds this year come July 30.
“I can’t say how happy I was about that. We were worried about what was going on, but we’re seeing things are getting better and things are opening up, so I think all along, this is going to be the biggest Indiana State Fair ever,” Stone said.
Economically, last year weighed on Stone.
“I work part-time jobs, just to make up for it, but it doesn’t make up for it of course, but any little thing helps,” Stone said. The Avon dad said his family also set up their food stand around their Hendricks County hometown as most fairs and events were canceled throughout 2020.
“Hopefully we never have another year like that,” Stone said.
Stone said has hope for this year.
“It’s the Indiana State Fair, what else is any better?” Stone said with a smile.
On Friday, he spent the day setting up for an event at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds.
Alfie McGinty said she is already prepping for the return to the state fair. Her family’s food truck, Gobble, Gobble only goes to the state fair and she said this year, she’s expecting big crowds.
“For most of us that have been doing this for a long time we know what we have to do to get prepared so we’re starting now. These are discussions that are starting right now. We’re excited we’re ready to roll and get back to serving our customers,” McGinty said.
This year’s fair will mark 20 years for Gobble, Gobble.
“We anticipate that the state fair will probably be the biggest this year because you never miss what you have until it’s gone,” McGinty said.
McGinty said while it was nice to have a year off, she’s already preparing by fixing up the truck, picking new menu items and stocking up on supplies.
“We’re looking forward to seeing all of our old friends and our fans that come to the truck and our neighbors who have other concessions at the state fair. It’s just gonna be a good old reunion,” McGinty said with a laugh.
The fair starts on July 30 and runs through August 22 with Mondays and Tuesdays off and a weekend added to the front of the fair.
As for attendance, officials for the state fair said they will work with public health officials and the state health department to determine possible safety protocols to keep everyone safe. Ticket and parking prices are expected to be released in June.