The Indiana State Fair is always a celebration. It celebrates agriculture, youth and all foods deep-fried or served on a stick. But this year's fair is historic for another reason - a reopened Fairgrounds Coliseum following an 18-month, $53 million renovation.

As a result, it is the "Year of the Coliseum" at the fair, which means the fair's Draft horse shows and livestock events return to the fairgrounds' signature structure after a year of improvising. In addition, the Shane Co. Coliseum Concert Series brings back the fair's headline concerts to the building for the first time in 30 years.

The Coliseum will host seven headline concerts, including:

• Lynyrd Skynyrd with special guests Jamey Johnson and Drake White and the Big Fire - today at 7:30

• BritBeat - Friday at 7 p.m.

• Phillip Phillips - Tuesday at 8 p.m.

• American Idol Live! 2014 Tour - Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

• Pitbull - Aug. 8 at 8 p.m.

• Hunter Hayes - Aug. 9 at 8 p.m.

• Jim Gaffigan - Aug. 17 at 8 p.m.

When concerts aren't taking place in the Coliseum, there will be lots of livestock and Draft Horse shows going on, including the National Belgian show, which debuts in Indiana after more than 50 years in Iowa. There's also the Grand Drive with 4-H'ers and their prize animals.

The Free Stage will feature a wide variety of nationally known performers, including Dustin Lynch presented by HANK-FM and Royal Pin Leisure Centers (Tuesday); Indy's Josh Kaufman presented by WZPL and Kaplan University (Aug. 7); Grammy-nominated Canadian rockers Barenaked Ladies (Aug. 11); Folk rockers America and Country rock legend Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (Aug. 13); The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards (Aug. 14); Classic rock band Kansas (Aug. 15); and a long list of others.

The fair's new Indiana Beer & Wine Exhibition will allow visitors to sample Hoosier beers and wines in the Grand Hall on Main Street. It is only open to adults 21 and older, and all the products must be consumed inside the building. The exhibition will be open from 1 to 9 p.m. every day of the fair.

There's much more, of course - a comedy wild west show, horse pull, tractor pull, duck races, a trick dog show, a BMX stunt show, rodeo, AMA motorcycle racing and on and on. It all starts Friday and runs through Aug. 17.

General admission is $10; discount tickets are $7. Admission for kids age 5 and younger is free.

Discount tickets are available at through today, and can also be purchased at all participating Indiana Walmart stores and all CVS/pharmacy stores while supplies last. State Fair parking is $5.

For more details, daily event schedules and other information, please visit, or call (317) 927-7500.

Three-drink limit for beer, wine at Indiana Fair

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Strict limits will be in place when the Indiana State Fair sells alcoholic drinks for the first since 1946 when its 17-day run begins Friday.

The fair says customers will be limited to three beers or three glasses of wine apiece. They also can sample products as long as they don't have more than 36 ounces of beer or 15 ounces of wine.

Spokesman Andy Klotz says the fair wants some controls in place so people are limited in their drinking while they're at the fairgrounds on Indianapolis' north side.

The drinks will be served at the Grand Hall across the street from the Coliseum. People must be at least 21 to enter and the drinks must stay inside. The featured Indiana breweries and wineries will change daily.

Smart phone app helps navigate Indiana State Fair

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana State Fair is offering a free updated mobile app for smartphones aimed at helping visitors navigate their way around the fairgrounds on Indianapolis' north side.

Fair officials say the app developed for iPhone and Android users by LiveLink Mobile will help fairgoers find sweet corn, rest rooms, an ATM or even where they parked their vehicles. The app also includes listings of every event for each of the 17 days of the fair and a sharing feature that allows users to post comments and photos to their friends on social media.

The fair begins Friday and runs through Aug. 17.

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