Mood changes as fair reopens - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Mood changes as fair reopens

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Visitors stopped by to take a look at the grandstand where the collapse occurred. Visitors stopped by to take a look at the grandstand where the collapse occurred.
A group of farmers gather to chat at Pioneer Village every year. A group of farmers gather to chat at Pioneer Village every year.

INDIANAPOLIS - The State Fair reopened Monday, but there was a much different mood along the Midway.

"We were kind of leery about coming at first. We thought it would be kind of sad and depressing," said one fair visitor.

"I just don't understand, because you come to have a good time and then that happens," said another.

A chance to look at the grandstand where Saturday's accident occurred brought hundreds of people away from the Midway, from the fair and away from what is supposed to be fun.

"Some things, yeah, you walk by here and you think, 'That was a mess Saturday night'," said visitor Jack Barrett.

By late Monday afternoon, the fair was back in full swing, at least the operations were up and running, the rides were open and there were a few smiling faces.

"Absolutely, it is not as much laughter and excitement as it was before, you know. That is to be expected. It was an awful tragedy," said vendor Nick Pawelkiewicz.

Every year for the past 50 years, a group of farmers take over a shaded spot behind one of the buildings in Pioneer Village. They have seen the ups and downs of the fair. This one, however, even for them, is tough.

"You are afraid to be happy. You are afraid to have a good time, you know, you don't want to look bad because you are having a good time, but what are we supposed to do?" said Terry Johnson.

It's a question, they say, only time can answer.

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