Indiana State Fair 2017 Photos #5: Last Call for Food, Non-Eating Division

Chinese Dragon!

I’m not sure this Chinese dragon is meant specifically to be Mushu from Disney’s Mulan, but we can pretend anyway.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians that other people love, and farm animals competing for cash prizes and herd bragging rights. My wife Anne and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context. Usually we’re all about the food.

…though not all the foods on hand were meant for immediate consumption. In particular, the Agriculture-Horticulture Building is one of the fairground’s premier showcases for produce competitions. Fruits, veggies, bee honey, and other locally grown fare face off for bragging rights of size, quality, and creativity. None of them is showier than the annual can sculpture contest, which we find ourselves photographing year-in-year-out and finding that while some shapes are readily apparent, some are harder to discern till we squash them down to screen size…like so.


Baloo from The Jungle Book, ironically made of bare necessities.

Tea Time!

A British tea time setting containing exactly 0% tea.

Burger + Fries!

As the Brits have their tea time, so do Americans enjoy their daily 4:00 burger time, even better because it comes with mustard and ketchup (at left), and with fries instead of scones.

Pausing here to note that, as always, all cans are donated to local hunger relief organizations after the contest has finished. No one gets to glue their canned sculptures together and keep them like that while the innards rot over the next sixty years.


Who doesn’t love a pinata stuffed with veggies? Right, kids? Kids? Hello, kids?


Flamenco dancer!

Another State Fair tradition is the giant cheese sculpture, a work in progress if you arrive too early in August. By the end of the 2½-week carnival-tastic spectacle, the finished cheese art will stand tall after most other food exhibits have been taken home or thrown away.

Cheese Sculpture!

One does not simply slap together a few boxes of Kraft and some cans of Cheez Whiz in a few hours and call it honest work. There is an art to this.

We don’t normally brake for all the produce contests until and unless the entrants reach a certain ridiculous size. I’m sure the trained judges have their motivations and criteria for comparing four-inch tomatoes to each other, but we prefer marveling at the kind of exaggerated fruits that would make great handheld weapons.


Maybe your area holds regular pumpkin contests in the fall. Here in Indy, they advocate for gourd diversity.

Giant Melon!

At last, the giant melon we’ve been looking for.

Gianter Melon!

Wait, no, THIS is the gianter melon we’ve all really been looking for.

Clown Gourd!

Tiny clown gourd is sad because no one ever walks into the Ag-Hort Building asking, “Can you point me toward the tiny clown gourds? This is also why no one grows tiny clown gourds.

To be continued! Or maybe concluded! Still deciding!

What do you, The Viewers at Home, think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: