Past Programs

There is no place quite like the fair. Grand champion heifers, perfectly pieced quilts, magnificent draft teams, purple-ribbon pies. Long-time exhibitors add yet another ribbon to their collections. First-time 4-H kids nervously await the judge’s decision. Visual delights, delicious smells, and festive sounds combine to create a special moment in time when everyday lives are suspended and we are surrounded by the efforts of so many doing their very best. There is no place quite like the fair.

Since 1852, the Indiana State Fair has encouraged sharing through exhibition and friendly competition. Historically rooted in a common desire to improve upon an agrarian way of life, the State Fair has grown into a celebration that lures all Hoosiers, urban as well as rural folks from all over Indiana.

At the fair, the everyday reveals its artistic dimensions. Few who exhibit at fairs would call themselves artists. But many have gained reputations within their communities and among fair judges as gifted bakers, woodworkers, seamstresses, and breeders. Over the years, these masters have fine-tuned their skills, learned from family, from friends, and from the many who have gone before.

Traditional Arts Indiana and the Indiana State Fair have joined hands to bring Indiana’s masters–old and new–to the attention of fair-bound audiences through our two programs: The Indiana State Fair Fiddle Contest, and The Indiana State Fair Masters. 


The band Salaam includes musicians Svetla Vladeva with accordion (left), Dena El Saffar with the oud (middle), and Tim Moore with dumbeck (right) at the Indiana State Fair. 
At the conclusion of the Fiddle Contest, all contestants are invited on stage to play.
Spinners at Pioneer Village demonstrate as State fair guests pass by. 
Bill Bailey (middle) is awarded the 2017 State Fair Master.
At the conclusion of the Fiddle Contest, all contestants are invited on stage to play.