Ways to Save Money at the Indiana State Fair

Discounts on Admission, Rides, Parking, and More

You can finagle your way into the 2009 Indiana State Fair for a lot less than the regular gate admission price of $8, park free, and take advantage of unlimited rides on the Midway for one flat fee. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. Check out these ways to enjoy big savings at this year’s Indiana State Fair!

Discounts on General State Fair Admission

Children 5 and under are always free, so there’s no need to hunt for discounts for the kids. Those of us who are past kindergarten age, however, can take advantage of the following ways to get into the Indiana State Fair this year for less:

  • Buy tickets in advance (through Aug. 5): Discounted admission tickets will be available for $7 at all Indiana Wal-Mart stores, CVS stores, Indiana Farm Bureau offices, the Marten House Hotel, and the Indiana State Fairgrounds Box office until Aug. 5.
  • Free tickets from the Indianapolis Star: The Monday, Aug. 10, edition of the Indianapolis Star newspaper will feature a free ticket that can be used for admission on either Wednesday, Aug. 12, or Thursday, Aug. 13. A coupon in the Aug. 10 edition will feature free admission on Wednesday, Aug. 19 and Thursday, Aug. 20. It doesn't get better than this!
  • Free admission for military families, Sunday, Aug. 16: Current and former members of the Armed Forces and their family members will receive free admission on Sunday, Aug. 16, with the presentation of military identification.
  • BMV Carload Day, Monday, Aug. 17: Up to 10 people can be admitted to the fairgrounds for only $15 just by presenting a voucher from the BMV, available online. The coupon will be accepted at all drive-in and walk-in gates at the fairgrounds on Aug. 17.
  • Free admission for state employees on Thursday, Aug. 20: State employees will receive free admission on Aug. 20 with the presentation of an employee ID card.
  • Free Tickets from WFMS: Country radio station WFMS will be giving away free fair admission tickets Monday, Aug. 17, through Thursday, Aug. 20, at “ticket stop” locations. Tune in to 95.5 on your FM dial for more details.
  • Free tickets from The Russ Parr Radio Show Monday, Aug. 10: Vouchers for free admission to the state fair on Aug. 10 will be given away by Hot 96, WSTO-FM radio. (Note: Vouchers are only good until 9 a.m. that day). Visit their website for ticket giveaway locations.
  • Free admission for downtown workers Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 19: Thanks to the Farmers’ Day Lunch Deal for Downtown Workers, on Aug. 19, downtown workers who take the IndyGo Route 39 bus to the fairgrounds for $1.75 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. will receive free admission to the fair through Gate 1A on 38th Street. Trip planning assistance is available at IndyGo or by calling 317-635-3344.
  • 2 for 1 admission for ABATE members, Friday, Aug. 21: On Friday, Aug. 21, ABATE of Indiana Motorcycle Day, two visitors will be admitted for the price of one when they present an ABATE of Indiana membership card.
  • Delta Sky Miles $2 admission, Tuesday, Aug. 18: On Aug. 18, visitors will be admitted for just $2 with a voucher that will be available online soon (details to come).
  • $2 Pepsi can discount, Sunday, Aug. 23: Bring the can from any Pepsi brand beverage to the fair on Aug. 23, and receive $2 off admission.

Best State Fair Parking Deals

  • Free parking at the fairgrounds: Free parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Cars and vans may enter the fairgrounds through the 38th Street Main Gate, Fall Creek Parkway (Gate 6), Gate 10 at the northeast corner, or Gate 16 at the northwest corner. Free parking is also available at the Indiana School for the Deaf off of 42nd Street and on 46th Street north of the school. Free shuttle service is available to and from the 46th Street lot.
  • Free State Fair Park & Ride: Park in Glendale Mall’s Rural Street lot, and you can ride the Indiana State Fair shuttle for free. The shuttle runs every 20 minutes from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. each day of the fair.
  • Pedal & Park: Save $1 off fair admission when you bike to the State Fair and use one of the secured bike racks available on the Monon Trail at 38th Street from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Bikers must enter the fair through Gate 18 on the Monon Trail to receive the discount.

Specials on Unlimited Midway Rides

Wristband specials allow visitors to ride as many rides as they want within a designated time period on a given day for $25. The best deals are Wed., Aug. 19, and Sunday, Aug. 23, when the specials last 10 hours each day! Special hours are as follows:

  • Friday, Aug. 7: 7 p.m.-midnight
  • Monday, Aug. 10: Noon-6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11: Noon-6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 12: Noon-6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 13: Noon-6 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 14: 7 p.m.-midnight
  • Tuesday, Aug. 18: Noon-6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 19: Noon-10 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 20: Noon-6 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 21: 7 p.m.-midnight
  • Sunday, Aug. 23: Noon-10 p.m.

Just for Kids: From noon to 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 17, wristbands that allow unlimited access to the Midway’s kiddie rides will be available for $15.

Note: Midway hours are as follows: Mon-Thu, noon-11 p.m.; Fri, noon-midnight; Sat, 11 a.m.-midnight; Sun, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (10 p.m. on Aug. 23)

More Special Values and Ways to Save

  • Tractor shuttle ride discounts for seniors: Visitors age 55 and older can ride the tractor shuttles around the fairgrounds for just $3/day when they purchase a special wristband at the State Fair Information Booths located in Pioneer Village and State Fair Boulevard.
  • Golden Hoosiers’ Day: On Tuesday, Aug. 18, seniors can ride the tractor shuttles free of charge.
  • $2 Taste of the State Fair: On Tuesday, Aug. 18, concessionaires all over the fairgrounds will be offering $2 food specials all day long.
  • Free lottery tickets: On Sunday, Aug. 9, all visitors 18 years and older can redeem their admission tickets for a free lottery ticket from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at either of the two Hoosier Lottery booths, at the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand or on the north side near Farmers Boulevard.
  • Indiana State Fair Value Coupon Book: With more than $100 worth of deals and discounts offered by dozens of fair vendors, you can save on everything from corn dogs to sunglasses by purchasing a coupon book for $5 in the Tomato Patch Gift Shop.
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