DNR free activities, bargains highlight State Fair, Aug. 3-19

See live snakes, teach a child to fish, taste wild game and enjoy loads more of free activities with the DNR at the Indiana State Fair, Aug. 3-19.

Two DNR favorites — “Snakes Alive” and the Kids Fishin’ Pond — kick off day No. 1 of the fair and will be offered daily.

An annual one-day favorite, the Taste of the Wild cookout, happens at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. It is the ultimate food superstar at the State Fair. Visitors can try free samples, typically of steelhead trout, venison, barbecued beaver, turtle soup, Asian carp and more. The food is prepared and provided by DNR staff and volunteer groups.

 Those events and more will be in or next to the air-conditioned Natural Resources Building, the hub of DNR State Fair activities. Check dnr.IN.gov/statefair for the entire DNR schedule, which is subject to change.

 “Snakes Alive,” a live snake show, will be offered daily throughout the fair. Interpretive naturalists from across Indiana will talk about snakes Hoosiers might find in their backyards. Also featured each afternoon is a program with at least one live bird of prey.

The 312,000-gallon Fishin’ Pond is adjacent to the Natural Resources Building and is packed with fish that are 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. Exact hours differ on some days.

Visitors to the building also can view native Indiana fish in aquariums, pick up free copies of the just-off-the presses Hunting Guide, the latest Recreation Guide and Fishing Guide and other informational brochures, subscribe to Outdoor Indiana magazine at a special State Fair deal, ask questions of DNR experts, visit Mother Nature’s Mercantile to buy unique outdoors-themed items, or just take an air-conditioned break.

All DNR activities at the fair, except buying items at the Mercantile, are free after paying gate admission to the Indiana State Fair.