The State of the Fair: Events to be held at reopened Coliseum



The annual Indiana State Fair returned to Indianapolis on Aug. 1 and will end on Aug. 17, bringing with it both traditional and novel events and activities, one of which includes the re-opening of the Coliseum after its renovations.

Michelle Leavell, Director of Event Services, said, “This year is the Year of the Coliseum. We just got done spending 63 million dollars renovating our Coliseum, so this year we’re proud to have it and showcase it by having livestock events and many concerts.”

According to senior Celina Traggeser, an annual Indiana State Fair visitor, the return of the Coliseum would create more opportunities for visitors to explore the fairgrounds.

Tragesser said, “Now that the Coliseum (will be) open this year, it’ll provide more areas for shows to happen since it was closed last year. People can go there, and it’ll probably be less crowded and allow for more people to explore.”

Despite the new modern additions, the Coliseum will still retain its traditional events, including live concerts and livestock shows, according to Leavell. 

“It’s going to be a more renovated and modern facility…. But for the rest,  like the traditional feel of the building when it was built back in 39’, so it still has sort of a hometown, traditional feel that it’s always had even though it has been renovated” said Leavell. “But for the new renovations, like the elevators and the better sound quality, those will hopefully enhance the whole experience for visitors in the building.”

In addition to shows in the Coliseum, the Indiana State Fair is home to other activities, including free entertainment in the Dow AgroSciences Celebration Park, rides in the Midway, the Daily Parade and Farmers’ Day Parade and the Young Hoosier State Piano Competition.

However, according to Tragesser, there is just as much to do by just walking around the fairgrounds and sightseeing.

Tragesser said, “I’m looking forward to getting to just walk around with my friends and see all the different people that are there and then seeing all the animals.”

In spite of the new events, tradition is still ubiquitous at the Indiana State Fair, according to Leavell. 

Leavell said, “If you want to come and just embrace the feel and the tradition of the fairgrounds, it’s wherever you go…. Everything there just gives you a great feel of tradition and pride of the fair, and you know, what Indiana is kind of about.”