Monday, August 1, 2011

The Indiana Pork Tents – A destination at the Indiana State Fair

By Sarah Ford of Indiana Pork

When I started as the director of public and industry relations at Indiana Pork five years ago, I was given the task of running the Indiana Pork tent concession at the Indiana State Fair (ISF).  A buckeye by birth, I had never been to the ISF so I was naïve as to how large this task would be.  Most of all, I had no idea that the pork tents are more than a concession – they are a destination.





Just about everyone I’ve visited with who attends the ISF eats at the pork tents.  For many it’s the one time a year they indulge in a pork burger (and be sure to try the bacon flavored one this year), for others it’s an opportunity to enjoy a full meal at a competitive price.  And for some folks, it’s a chance to sit across the table from a family member or friend and reconnect.

Whatever your reason for visiting one of our three pork tent locations, rest assured that Indiana’s 3,000 family pork farmers thank you for your business.  Every dollar spent goes toward programs that support Indiana’s pork farmers – and taking care of our pigs and serving up good pork is what we do best.

In honor of the ISF pork tent tradition, Indiana Pork is giving away a family 4-pack including 4 admission tickets to the State Fair and 4 meal tickets redeemable at the pork tents.  Just comment with your favorite State Fair memory, and we’ll choose a winner at random Friday morning!

28 comments:

Nathan Miller said...

I was not in 4H or FFA, but do have some memories, like going to the state fair every year with my parents and we would park on the infield bright and early in the morning and walking under the track and getting breakfast at the Dairy Bar a...nd being allowed to have their famous Strawberry Milkshake for breakfast. Also we would pack a lunch and eat out of the back of mom and pops trunk, our sandwiches were bologna and two pieces of Velveeta cheese, and then TOPPED with chips of any kind. IF you have never tried chip sandwiches I highly recommend it, and used the Lays Wavy chips ;) Also loved walking up to the worlds largest pig and just wondering what it would be like to get in there and sit on him. And lastly, going back for round two and one that still holds true today is my obsession and passion for the famous Strawberry Milkshake from the Dairy Bar before we left again! AH yes, good times, great food, and even better friends and family at the fair!

Nathan Miller
miller52@umail.iu.edu

John Ferringer said...

I would say my favorite State Fair memory is coming back every year with our young daughter and watching her get more and more into the experience as she grows up :) This will mark her fifth annual visit, and I can't wait to see what catches her eye this year!

Rachel @ The Lazy Christian said...

I'm pretty new to Indiana, so I've only been going to the fair for six years or so. Maybe seven. Last year was probably my favorite year so far because 1) my toddler was old enough to enjoy things, and 2) we tried all the crazy foods! Deep fried butter and a chocolate sundae with bacon! :)

birrrd said...

I've been going to the State Fair for years now so I have a lot of memories but one thing I think is funny now is how we would go through the line a couple of times to get our free Indiana Road map. I'm sure if we would have asked they would have given us a couple but we always "snuck" back in line to get another map. Now we don't even need a map because they are on our phones. Crazy how things change in just a few years time.!

The ABC FARM said...

Hi everyone,

I have a lot of memories because I showed pigs there in 4-h. I'd have to say a memory that sticks out the most is being allowed to stay the nite with my sisters to take care of the pigs and then walking around the fair alone. It doesn't sound like much but that's one. Another would go along with that is we got to see alot of singers in the grandstand free...(this was before the tarp was placed along side) So we'd go stand and here Garth Brooks and others.

Denise said...

I've always loved going to the State Fair to watch the horses in the Collesium, eat pineapple whip and pork burger, and just enjoy walking around looking at the animals, etc.
Now, we love going to the Fair because my son (4-years-old this year) LOVES and I mean LOVES John Deere Tractors. We have taken him every year of his life and I love watching him take in all the sights, smells, sounds, tastes of the State Fair! Can't wait till it starts!!

stonemedic76@hotmail.com

MGreen said...

We come down every year to show our sons 4H pigs!! it is our family vacation-- we have such a great family time! The Pork tent and the Dippin dots are my sons favorites! :)

Katie said...

We live just being together as a family at the fair, eating great food and seeing all the animals.

tuttlem99 said...

Going every year with my best friend when our kids were babies and walking around not missing one single thing. Not only once but like five times a year. She has moved away and now I can't find anyone that can hang out from sun up to sun down...lol.

Anonymous said...

SO MANY wonderful state fair memories.....years of 4-H and then open class, showing livestock and staying at the fair....seeing old friends year after year, competing and working together....every year, it was a big part of our summer-getting ready for the fair, staying at the fair, and then starting all over again getting ready for the next year! Fair memories - the "trash can pig" that stood in front of the Home and Family Arts building, touring the Manufacturer's building for goodies and State Fair Specials, being in the audience for Cowboy Bob's Corral and Janie at the Fair, Farm Bureau Pet and Hobby Club competition, Farm Bureau Baton Twirling contest, Girl's state, 4-H exhibits of all kinds, and THE FOOD - always the Pork Tent, and the Beef Tent, and Lemon Shake Ups....Thanks for the trip down memory lane! quentinandtoni@yahoo.com

rlluebcke said...

Well, 20 years old and 20 years worth of state fair memories to choose from, but my absolute favorite is taking my best friend to the state fair for the first time. I told her all the family traditions that we had to do ($2 tuesday, free Thursday, pork tenderloin as big as your head, red barn ice cream, etc.) and she was slightly overwhelmed. She also didn't understand that it was going to be the best time of her life. We went first on $2 Tuesday, then had to go back 4 more times because we had so much fun. Now it is a tradition I get to share with her too, and I think my excitement and love of the fair is rubbing off on her! :)

Tom Coleman said...

Our first Indiana Fair food was from the pork tent... Butterfly chop. Our second stop was the Indiana Jaycees Corn On Cob tent and the next stop was the Dairy Bar. These have been out three stops for 20+ years now.... ONLY Local for me at the fair!

~Jamie~ said...

My favorite memory would be going to the State Fair as a family. We've carried this tradition onto my own little family. We love to go see the animals, that is th highlight of my kids trip. My husband and I also love the animals, but the food is one of my favorite things as well. You have an excuse to 'pig out' and enjoy yorself! Thanks for this great opportunity to win! :)

Amy said...

I've been going to the Indiana State Fair almost every year of the 40 years of my life. Growing up in Indianapolis, Dad would take us to the fairgrounds the night BEFORE the Fair started and we would watch the vendors and exhibitors set up to sell their food and wares. There was something magical to me about strolling down the empty midway at night, the colored bulbs on the rides twinkling like starlight. My parents are both gone now, but this year I will be able to pass on the magic of the fair to my niece and three great-nephews who will come in from out of state to visit the Indiana State Fair for the first time. I hope they'll grow up with State Fair memories as precious as mine!

bethbennett2009 said...

I think our family memory going to the fair is just being together and seeing the smiles on our kids faces. After the fair is over my kids ages 5 and 3 pretend to play fair all year long and then when July comes around we get count down to the day we are going. We love the fair..

ShineyAim said...

I hate to say this...but we have never been to the ISF. I know...I hang my head in shame. :) But I'm sure my family would enjoy the food (my son wants elephant ears), seeing all the animals, the farm equipment and listening and dancing to some great music! :) Thanks for the chance to win this great prize!

Christa said...

I remember going to the state fari as a kid and would love to share those memories with my kids.

Terri D. said...

When I took our girls last year we had a blast. Walking around, eating, then saw Selena Gomez to cap off the day. It was a wonderful girls day!

Terri
terrid0304 at gmail.com

KarKar said...

It is always fun to see what's new at the fair. I have only been going about 15 years. The pioneer village is always fun to see. My husband has been going since he was a little boy and he always has to have a grilled cheese sandwich at the Dairy Shack.
Sometimes we take family with us & they also enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

Love attending with my family! My son loves the tractors and animals. My daughter is almost one and we are excited to take her this year. Love the food! :)

Robert W

Bonnie said...

My Favorite Memory would have to be when my daughter then in 4-H was in the cat show...to most it may not have been such a big deal but it was for her so it made it a big deal for me also. She did very well and placed Grand Champion, I think the trophy was almost as tall as she was.It was a very happy time for our family but also a stressful time for our poor kitty who really would have rather stayed home instead. We try to go every year but it is now usually just me and my husband as the kids are all grown up with kids of their own. So if anything they would get the tickets if I did win them... I think it is a family oriented event that should be attended at least one time to have the experience.

thefieldsfamily said...

Our daughters are in 4-H and the last couple of years they have had projects go there. We like to drive down for the day and see their projects and see what ribbons they achieved. Also like to see projects that the other 4-Her's have on display. It amazes me at the talent these kids have!

Jaime said...

Our favorite family memory of the fair is sharing my passion for 4-H and animals (I grew up in Iowa attending a different ISF!!) with our children. We love walking around all of the animal barns. Our boys will be 3 and 2 this year so they are really in to the sounds animals say. I can't wait to go!

Angela said...

Trying the chocolate covered bacon and actually liking it!!!!

Lisa said...

Hard to pick a favorite memory because every year it's something different! One year the kids got free train tickets so we rode down on the train - that was a highlight! We always love seeing the biggest boar, trying the fine Indiana foods, wandering the 4-H building, and people-watching! We never forget to find Daddy's photographs in the arts building and see if he won a ribbon again this year! Always a great family experience!

Kathy said...

Last yr. was our first time at the Indiana State Fair after having moved to Columbia City 4 yrs ago form Colorado. We had a wonderful Time! We ate ate at one of the Pork tent sand the food was great! We went to a concert and spent the night in a hotel and then went back the next day and spent the entire day! We had a wonderful time. I especially enjoyed the displays and videos and interactive materials that the Hog Farmers had on display. I learned so much! We live on a 10 acre corn/soybean farm. And now I feel part of it all and I can Say "I'm proud to be a Hoosier!!

Anonymous said...

We always love sitting in the Colosseum watching the horse competitions. That has been our tradition for years. Trying to pick the winners! lol

Mike H
rm2_mah@att.net

Megan K. said...

This will be our first state fair! We are driving up from Alabama next weekend! We are so excited! And what else would add to the best trip ever but to win this fantastic prize!

Megan K.
meg9863@gmail.com