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Powering memories at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center: Four keys to a successful event

The Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center is a special place for Indiana residents and visitors alike. It is also special to ERMCO, as the Fairgrounds was one of our first clients. We provided temporary power, lighting installation, and maintenance services for the 1962 Indiana State Fair. In 1990, the Fairgrounds became a year-round events center and ERMCO continues to support the events that take place there.

“Many people don’t realize how much actually goes on at the fairgrounds throughout the year,” said Jake Van Wye, a foreman at ERMCO who has worked with the company—and at the Fairgrounds—for 22 years. “Any given weekend, there’s something going on.”

Operating out of a field office on site, Jake manages the service and maintenance ERMCO provides for the Fairgrounds’ events. While the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center is one of a kind, it offers several takeaways for other facilities that regularly host special events and large groups.

Prioritizing planning and preparation

ERMCO Service and Maintenance team meet with Indiana State Fairgrounds leadership

With the variety of events taking place at the fairgrounds, planning and preparation is key.

“Our goal is to make sure we have a smooth opening on every show, with everything taken care of before gates open,” Jake said. Dry runs ahead of the events help ERMCO meet that goal. “A lot of power is used, especially during the fair, so the dry run gives us the opportunity to make sure all the electrical is maintaining and holding up well.”

In addition, Jake has regular conversations with Greg Champion, facility director at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center, to discuss the fairgrounds' future goals and how ERMCO can support them.

"We greatly value our partnership with ERMCO and appreciate their dedication to ensuring the success of the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center,” Greg said. “Their expertise in electrical services and commitment to thorough planning and preparation have been instrumental in creating a smooth and enjoyable experience for our visitors. Together, we continue to work towards our shared goals and envision an even brighter future for the fairgrounds."

Improving efficiency and experiences with regular upgrades

ERMCO Electrician on scissor lift installing cabling at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Fall Creek Pavilion

The Indiana State Fairgrounds opened in 1892 and has continuously committed to creating up-to-date venues while staying true to its legacy. These projects help the fairgrounds provide modern event facilities in a historical setting.

ERMCO has participated in many of those upgrades, from capital renovations to infrastructure upgrades that increase efficiency and reduce loads on equipment. For example, a current project introduces automation technology that controls lighting and HVAC systems based on occupancy.

Engaging the right team at the right time

ERMCO’s support ranges from three to four team members on site to a dozen or more during the Indiana State Fair. As with any project, the right team is essential to success.

Working at the fairgrounds is unique because it’s both fast-paced and there are times when we’re on standby,” Jake said. “You need team members who are ready for anything and can respond quickly to whatever need arises.”

“ERMCO Is here when it’s snowing or when it’s 100 degrees,” said Cindy Hoye, Executive Director, Indiana State Fair Commission. “They take a great deal of pride in making sure that they’re meeting expectations in a safe way. We rely on ERMCO to be part of our team. It’s a collaboration, there’s not a line in the sand, we’re working together to make this place better.”

Cultivating an ongoing partnership

Ed and Darrell Gossett riding and ERMCO golf cart around the Indiana State Fair in the 1960s

In addition to providing a responsive team, ERMCO adds value to Fairground operations with institutional knowledge gained over decades of working there, along with the pride that comes from a lifetime of serving the Indiana institution.

“We were one of the first relationships ERMCO had as a company,” Cindy said. “I’ve been here over 30 years, and I think of ERMCO as family. My favorite memory was watching Ed Gossett in his golf cart, driving around the fairgrounds. He had this pride about this place and about the partnership between the two organizations.”

Learn more

For more information on how ERMCO can become your service and maintenance partner, contact:

PAT MCCARTHY | 317.396.4974 |


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