Fair visitors return to remember stage collapse victims
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana State Fair is open again and visitors are paying their respects to those killed by Saturday's stage collapse.
It looked like the start of any other day at the Indiana State Fair. It wasn't.
"It's way different. Even the air feels different today. It's just...awkward," said a state fair worker.
Many people arrived with heavy hearts, especially those who returned after attending the Sugarland concert Saturday night.
"As soon as they said there was a memorial, I decided I had to be here. I've never gone through anything so horrific and just pray for the families and everybody involved," said Lindsey Davis, Fishers.
"Our hearts are broken for those we have lost, for those who were harmed. Our hearts are broken likewise for those who worked so very hard for a full year to try to make the Indiana State Fair the great event that it is," said Gov. Mitch Daniels during the memorial service.
The service drew hundreds of people, including relatives and friends of the victims.
"Annie texted me and told me that Alina was one of the girls that passed away, and I heard it on the news the next day and being here, it hurts. It's really hard," said a friend of Alina Bigjohny, one of the victims.
As the memorial ended, vendors got ready for the day ahead.
"I feel sorry for everybody that it happened, but for us, we have to go back to work," said John Ford, vendor.
Fair attendees went to the livestock barns, had fair food and headed to the Midway. But they stopped at a memorial of flags, flowers and pictures dedicated to the five people who died.
"She was very strong. She's just a lot of fun. We were both two Leos. So we had good debates," said a relative of Tammy Vandam, who was killed.
It was impossible not to think about what happened Saturday.
"It's just a sadness I've never experienced since I've been here," said one fair visitor. "I've come to the fair every year for many, many years."