INDIANAPOLIS - The bright lights, high-pitch screams and endless laughs are sure signs that you are in the middle of the Indiana State Fair midway. It's like a little city of its own right in the heart of the fair, and this year could be the best year yet for midway lovers.
For more than 20 years, North American Midway Entertainment, the nation's largest carnival company, has provided the State Fair's midway rides and games, but never before have they done so much to give visitors a great experience at such an affordable price. Not only will the midway have all-day wristband specials on 10 of the fair's 17 days, but now people can buy those wristbands at the discounted price of just $17 when purchased at any Indiana Walmart store before Aug. 5. That's a $5 - $8 savings!
In addition, N.A.M.E. has expanded the hours for the wristbands, which will now be honored from noon to 10 p.m. on each of those days. Here is the full schedule of wristband specials with the non-discounted price when purchased at the fair instead of Walmart:
Fri, 8/5 Ride Survival Noon - 10 pm $25
Mon, 8/8 Family Day Noon - 10 pm $22
Wed, 8/10 Family Day Noon - 10 pm $22
Thurs, 8/11 Family Day Noon - 10 pm $22
Fri, 8/12 Ride Survival Noon - 10 pm $25
Mon, 8/15 Family Day Noon - 10 pm $22
Wed, 8/17 Family Day Noon - 10 pm $22
Thurs, 8/18 Family Day Noon - 10 pm $22
Fri, 8/19 Ride Survival Noon - 10 pm $25
Sun, 8/21 Last Blast Noon - 10 pm $25
The midway has added even more savings opportunities beyond the all-day wristband specials, including:
· "Early Bird" one-hour Special - All rides $1 from noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 6 & 7
· $2 Tuesday Special - All rides $2 from noon to 10 p.m. Aug. 9 & 16
· Munchkins on the Midway Special - $10 wristbands good for all kiddie rides from noon to 10 p.m. Aug. 15
To make the deals even sweeter for the carnival-loving crowd, anyone who purchases a midway wristband, either in advance or at the fair, will receive a free Pepsi and one free game ticket.
Why all the great new bargains? It's a new emphasis on customer service from the new midway owner.
"If you treat people honestly and give it to them at a good price, they'll want to keep coming back," Danny Huston said. "In light of the economy, we want to do all we can to help families come to the carnival. Right now, folks need help."
Huston understands Hoosier families - he's part of one. A Parker City native, he's spent 30 years in the carnival industry before taking over N.A.M.E. last December and relocating the corporate headquarters to Farmland, Ind. He's come a long way since his first carnival experience sitting in a dunk tank as a youngster at a company picnic in Muncie decades ago.
Now, as the head of N.A.M.E., he's constantly looking for ways to improve fairgoers' midway experience, and that doesn't stop at discounting prices. He's also added five new resting islands where visitors can rest in shaded comfort. Additionally, he's enhanced the lighting on the Giant Ferris Wheels with new LED lights that can be programmed with 70 different displays.
"People will be sitting for a long time, just watching," he said. "It's spectacular!"
About Indiana State Fair
The Indiana State Fair is the state's largest multi-day event attracting more than 900,000 people annually. Nationally recognized for offering the best in entertainment, showcasing youth, interactive agriculture education programs, premiere facilities and a variety of unique, fun foods, the Indiana State Fair is an annual tradition for generations of Hoosiers. Admission is $7in advance, $8 at the gate - kids 5 and younger are free. For more information, please visit http://www.indianastatefair.com/.
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