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"I'm thinking that one, that one and that one are all first place quilts," Ohl said.
Musical acts ranging from rock and country bands to former "American Idol" contestant Marrialle Sellars will accompany dance parties and entertain visitors. On opening night Friday, the Indy Jazz Orchestra will put on a show while the Fred Astaire Dance Studio teaches choreographed routines.
When Phillips takes people around the place, he points out each attraction with exuberance, from the rides and games on the midway, which he says is one of the largest in the country, to sculptures made from repurposed household objects.
Across the room, Marjory Ohl was having an even tougher time with the quilts. No matter how many entries they had for a contest, finding one top finisher was always a problem.
In 2011, the fair was moved to June for the first time, Phillips said. For years, it had been a late July affair, but organizers worried they were losing visitors because of how close it was to the Indiana State Fair, which is generally in early August.
You never too old to ride the swings as Terry Kapp of Indianapolis is all smiles while riding the YoYo with his great granddaughter Layla Vasquez, 5, during opening day of the Marion County Fair on Friday, June 22, 2012. (Matt Detrich / The Star)(Photo: Matt Detrich, Indianapolis Star)
In its 84th year, the event will fill Puma Ignite Xt Core
Marion County Fair focuses on agriculture
But this year, the fair is taking things one step further by opening Peaceful Grounds, an on site farm and market that will open on Sundays through the summer. It's all part of this central focus: keeping local agricultural roots at the forefront of people's minds, despite the fairgrounds being less than 10 miles from downtown Indianapolis.
"It's all weather driven," he said. "Last year, we had to close three different times for lightning, all big nights."
"Only one first place and one second place per category," he said.
RELATED: 10 things to do at the Marion County Fair
Children participating in 4 H will display their projects and auction off livestock they've raised. each day will show off animals raised by 4 H'ers and some of the county's best homemade baked goods.
of the 120 acre fairgrounds, three women discussed the finer points of homemade jelly, banana nut bread and machine pieced quilts. Daina Chamness, a semi retired veteran of the food business and county fair judge, cut into a loaf of strawberry mango nut bread at a judging table covered with pies, muffins and cookies.
There will be a demolition derby, a robotics competition and an on site salsa contest.
Story HighlightsThe county fair runs Friday June 29 at 7300 E.
Aside from filling the fairgrounds, the board strives to preserve the rural heritage of central Indiana.
But Ron Phillips, president of the Marion County Fair Board, wouldn't have it.
Visitors can see this in the emphasis on 4 H and the animal events that will be featured every day. For example, Saturday includes a petting zoo, horse jumping and goat and sheep shows.
Then, fireworks will go off.
"This one's going to be tough," she said, taking a bite. "It's really a lot of work. People don't realize how much work it is."
the fairgrounds at 7300 E. Troy Ave., from Friday until June 29 with shows, rides and animal showings, as well as home craft projects showcased in the Family Arts Building.
attendance numbers live and die by temperature and precipitation.
While the Tilt a Whirl and Ferris wheel are synonymous with fairs across the country, organizers have arranged for a host of other entertainment spectacles featuring Indianapolis residents.
Phillips said they've seen some success with the earlier start. It's also brought the county fair out of the hottest month of the year, and Puma Ignite Purple
This year, as many as 70,000 to 80,000 people could make their way to the event, Phillips said, assuming the weather cooperates. But for the past few years, he and other members of the fair board have Puma Ignite Limitless Hi Tech Black been pushing to increase attendance.
"It's a step back into agriculture," Phillips said, "which is what our mission is. To keep agriculture alive in Marion County."
In the Family Arts Building, a low structure just through the main gates Puma Fenty Rihanna Shoes
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