INDIANAPOLIS — Then Indiana State Fair has opened its 17-day run with cooler weather after rain and heat caused attendance to nosedive last year.

Soon after Friday morning’s opening ceremony, Gov. Eric Holcomb and his wife, Janet, took a ride on the fair’s new Skyride attraction that takes riders 35 feet above the ground for about a quarter-mile through the fairgrounds on the north side of Indianapolis.

This year’s fair theme is the “Wonderful World of Food,” with food samples, cooking demonstrations and eating contests through the Aug. 20 closing day.

Fair director Cindy Hoye says food has surpassed visiting the animal barns as the top reason people give for attending the fair.

Last year’s fair drew about 730,000 visitors, down from more than 900,000 in both 2015 and 2014.

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