Indiana State Fair Unveils 2023 Theme: BASKETBALL


Celebrating the State that Grew the Game, presented by Pacers Sports & Entertainment

December 19, 2022, INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Indiana State Fair announced today the 2023 theme of BASKETBALL, and title partnership with Pacers Sports & Entertainment. The 2023 theme was announced this morning on the basketball court at Governor Holcomb’s residence along with representatives for the Indiana State Fair, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and more.  

The theme will be activated through multiple interactive experiences, including All-Star Court (a Basketball Amusement Park), the Pacers Sports & Entertainment Court, exhibits paying homage to Indiana’s rich basketball legacy, and daily storytelling moments – 18 of Indiana’s greatest  basketball stories told through the 18 days of the Fair, team player meet & greets, and so much more. The 2023 Indiana State Fair returns July 28th through August 20th.

“The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of agriculture, entertainment, and what it means to be a Hoosier,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “Perhaps the only other Hoosier tradition that brings together as many fans, as much nostalgia, and that sense of hometown pride is the love of basketball that’s swept  our state for more than a century, which makes it the perfect theme for this year’s fair.”

“The Indiana State Fair is an annual backdrop for celebrating our State’s rich history and being the state that grew the game, BASKETBALL is the perfect theme!” said Anna Whelchel, chief marketing & sales officer, Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center. “We unveil this theme today as we tip-off an incredible year of celebration for the 166th Indiana State Fair returning next summer with our great partners at Pacers Sports & Entertainment.”

“The Indiana Pacers and the Indiana State Fair are both quintessentially Hoosier brands, and the Coliseum and Fairgrounds are, in the minds of so many fans, so closely linked to the Pacers’ ABA championship teams and players,” said Rick Fuson, Chief Executive Officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “We are thrilled that this partnership will celebrate the game of basketball, the birthright of every Hoosier and such an important part of our state heritage.”

The Indiana State Fair is rooted in telling the agriculture story – and the history of why the game of basketball grew here in Indiana is tied directly to agriculture. The game was affordable, and the playing season was based around the farmers’ planting and harvest season. After each harvest, farm kids could play basketball, and then when the season ended in March, they could go back to the fields for planting. Thus, the tradition of “Friday Night High School  Basketball” became rooted in Indiana.

Basketball also has a rich history at the Fairgrounds where our iconic Indiana Farmers Coliseum has

played host to high school championships, the ABA Pacers, All-Star Games and more. The Indiana

State Fairgrounds first opened in 1892 – the same year basketball was introduced in  Indiana – two

great Hoosier traditions that have stood the test of time.

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements for the 2023 Indiana State Fair.

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