(INDIANAPOLIS) - Two DNR favorites -- "Snakes Alive" and the Kids Fishin' Pond -- kick off day No. 1 of the Indiana State Fair and will be offered daily, Aug. 1-17.
Another annual favorite, the Taste of the Wild cookout, will take place on Saturday, Aug. 2, at 11 a.m.
All three events will be adjacent to the air-conditioned Natural Resources Building, the hub of DNR State Fair activities. Check dnr.IN.gov/statefair for the entire DNR schedule.
Also this year, fairgoers can buy 2014 annual passes to Indiana's state parks and reservoirs for half-off the regular price. The standard entrance pass will cost only $20. The Golden Hoosier Passport, an entrance pass for visitors age 65 and older, is just $10. Passes are good through Dec. 31 and are available at the Mercantile inside the Natural Resources Building.
Gift cards to State Park Inns will also be available at the Mercantile for 20 percent off regular price, while supplies last.
"Snakes Alive," the live snake show, will be offered daily at 10 a.m. Interpretive naturalists from across Indiana will talk about snakes Hoosiers might find in their backyards.
The 312,000-gallon Fishin' Pond next to the amphitheater is packed with fish ready to be caught and released. Youth fishing is available every day in the early evening and most mornings. Parents/guardians should check the daily schedule online or in the State Fair program.
Also featured each afternoon is a program with at least one live bird of prey. These programs take place at 4:30 p.m. every day except Aug. 2, when start time is 3:30 p.m.
This Saturday's Taste of the Wild is the ultimate food superstar at the State Fair. Visitors can try samples of steelhead trout, venison, barbecued beaver, turtle soup, Asian carp and more, prepared and provided by DNR staff and volunteer groups.
Taste of the Wild preparers and providers include the White River Bow Hunters Association, Indiana Deer Hunters Association, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Indianapolis Flycasters, Reel Women Reel Men Fly Club, the Central Indiana Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Farmland Conservation Club, Indiana Wild Turkey Federation and Northwest Indiana Steelheaders, as well as Jim and Nancy Mahoney, and Ken and Robin Groves.
All DNR activities at the fair are free after paying gate admission.
Visitors to the building 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 the Mercantile to purchase unique outdoors-based items, or just take an air-conditioned break.
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