Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Last modified: Monday, July 28, 2008

From shipwrecks to science to basketball -- IU Day at the Indiana State Fair

July 28, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Fairgoers will have a chance to see a cannon and other artifacts salvaged from Caribbean shipwrecks, take part in hands-on science games and experiments, pick up free gifts and prizes -- and learn more about how "IU is Red Hot" -- on Aug. 7 during IU Day at the Indiana State Fair.

The day-long celebration at the fairgrounds in Indianapolis will feature more than 50 booths dispensing family-oriented fun and information about Indiana University campuses, programs and services. Musical groups will perform on an outdoor stage, and an IU contingent will lead a fairgrounds parade.

IU Day at the Indiana State Fair

IU Day at the 2007 Indiana State Fair

Print-Quality Photo

IU President Michael A. McRobbie and men's basketball coach Tom Crean will join Hoosier cheerleaders and members of the Marching Hundred for a 4 p.m. pep rally at the stage in front of the Home and Family Arts Building. Also, a pep rally at 1:30 p.m. will celebrate student athletes and school spirit at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

"Indiana University touches the lives of Indiana citizens every day through life-science research, the arts, advances in teaching and learning, athletics and in many other ways," McRobbie said. "The Indiana State Fair provides a wonderful opportunity to share this story with Hoosiers from every corner of the state."

This is the third straight year that IU Day has been celebrated at the Indiana State Fair, which takes place Aug. 6-17. In addition to the special one-day celebration, IU will maintain a booth throughout the course of the fair at Toyota Expo Hall, providing informational brochures and ever-popular IU tote bags.

The Indiana State Fair, begun in the 1850s as a showcase for agriculture, is the state's largest multi-day event, attracting as many as 900,000 visitors over the course of 12 days. Admission costs $8, with children ages 5 and under admitted for free. Parking is free at the fairgrounds.

The IU Day celebration will occupy Expo Hall Street in front of the Home and Family Arts Building near the 38th Street entrance to the fairgrounds. Booths will be organized by "neighborhoods" -- the Arts, Job Creation, Life Sciences, Red Hot and Technology.

Charles Beeker, director of Academic Diving and Underwater Science Programs in IU Bloomington's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, will return with a museum-quality presentation titled "Capt. Kidd and the Golden Age of Piracy," focusing on the discovery of the shipwreck of the Queddagh Merchant, abandoned by the pirate Capt. Kidd off the Dominican Republic.

The exhibit will include large video screens showing underwater footage of identification and research activities around the Queddagh Merchant, and of artifacts found on other, more fully researched vessels found in the waters of the Dominican Republic. A cannon taken from another shipwreck from the same Caribbean seas will be on display. Francis Soto, who directs the government conservancy that hosts the IU Underwater Science program in the Dominican Republic, will be on hand to meet with fair-goers and talk about underwater artifacts found in the area.

IU science departments will provide hands-on demonstrations guaranteed to engage the imagination of young fairgoers. The Physics Department at IU Bloomington will show what happens when balloons are submerged in liquid nitrogen and provide gyroscopes for kids to play with. The Astronomy Department will be on hand with a solar telescope for viewing the sun and a "Wheel of Fortune" game featuring questions about the stars and planets.

At HPER's IU Campus Recreational Sports booth, an old-style carnival "duck pond" game will give children, teens and adults a chance to win prizes.

"It's always a great hit with families -- and a chance to learn more about active, healthy lifestyles," said Melissa Copas, the program's assistant marketing director.

And the IUPUI School of Physical Education and Tourism Management will again give away pedometers, one of the most popular free items at the 2007 IU Day at the State Fair.

With support from the IU Moveable Feast of the Arts, there will be musical performances on the outdoor stage adjacent to the display areas. Groups performing will include the Urban Drum Ensemble, 2:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m.; the Jacobs School of Music Trombone Quartet, 5:15 p.m.-6 p.m.; the Jacobs School of Music Clarinet Quartet, 7:15 p.m.-8 p.m.; and the funk-R&B band The Dynamics, 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Indiana University will lead the Aug. 7 fairgrounds parade, with line-up starting at 6 p.m. in front of the Swine Barn and the parade taking place from 6:30 p.m.-7 p.m.

For more information, visit