Two DNR favorites—“Snakes Alive” and the Kids Fishin’ Pond—kick off day one of the Indiana State Fair and will be offered daily during the Fair, from Aug. 5-21.
Both events will be adjacent to the air-conditioned Natural Resources Building, the center of DNR activities at the State Fair. Check dnr.IN.gov and click on the State Fair link for the entire DNR State Fair schedule to plan your trip.
Interpretive naturalists from across Indiana will talk about snakes Hoosiers might find in their backyards during the “Snakes Alive” program, scheduled at 10 a.m. daily at the 150-seat DNR amphitheater.
The 312,000-gallon Fishin’ Pond located next to the amphitheater is packed with fish ready to be caught and released. Youth fishing is available most days from 9 a.m. to noon and from 4 to 7 p.m. Parents and guardians should check the daily schedule online or in the Fair program, then stop by the pond to reserve a time for children to fish later in the day. Times fill up fast.
The ultra-popular Taste of the Wild cookout begins at 11 a.m. Aug. 6. Taste of the Wild is the ultimate food superstar among many State Fair contenders. Visitors can try free samples of steelhead trout, venison, barbecued beaver, and more, all prepared and provided by DNR staff and volunteer groups, including the Indiana Bowhunters Association, Indiana Deer Hunters Association, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Indianapolis Flycasters, Farmland Conservation Club, Furtakers of America, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Northwest Indiana Steelheaders.
Like the cookout, snake show and Fishin’ Pond, all DNR activities at the fair are free after paying gate admission.
DNR Backyard activities are sponsored by Citizens Energy Group.
Inside the Natural Resources Building, guests will see the 25th return of the old-school floodplain display. A favorite of adults and children, the display features flashing lights, flowing water, tiny towns of floating cars, animals, homes, earthen dams, and threatening thunderclaps. It goes off about every 20 minutes during daily building hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Visitors also can view native Indiana fish in aquariums, pick up free copies of the latest Recreation Guide and other informational brochures, subscribe to Outdoor Indiana magazine at a State Fair special deal, ask questions of DNR experts, visit Mother Nature’s Mercantile to purchase unique outdoors-based items, or just take an air-conditioned break.