Porter County’s Expo Center is ready for the 2024 fair and beyond

Porter County’s Expo Center is ready for the 2024 fair and beyond

With exhilarating carnival games, the sweetest candy to make the taste buds sparkle, and concerts that have people jamming long past sunset, the summer in Northwest Indiana would not be complete without the Porter County Fair. Running from July 18 to July 27, the well loved local staple is just around the corner. Be sure to mark your calendars because this is sure to be an event you won’t want to miss. 

The event is brought to life through the Fair Board, as well as other organizations that are eager to help them out in any way possible. This includes the Porter County Expo Center, which hosts vendors within the center and supports the fair overall. Now that opening day is quickly approaching, the crew couldn’t be more excited.

“The Porter County Fair has so much to offer this year,” said Expo Center Director Lori Daly. “The grandstand is hosting five nights of concerts instead of four. The carnival is so popular, and 4-H is ready to bring in animals as well.”

Throughout the fair, the Fair Board houses hundreds of booths used by businesses, organizations, and community groups. 

“The Expo Center’s first and second buildings are commercial space during the Porter County Fair,” said Daly. “We have vendors from all different types of groups that rent that space for the 10 days. It’s a great way to interact with the public.”

In addition to hosting one of the biggest events of the summer, the Porter County Expo Center is one of Northwest Indiana’s premier event spaces, making it a central hub for fun, friendships, and community in the Region at any time of the year. Whether it’s a countywide get together or an intimate gathering with close friends and family, the Expo Center has just the space to create those precious memories guaranteed to last a lifetime. 

“From August onward, we have a lot of fundraisers on our calendar,” said Daly. “In addition, we are looking forward to continuing to host multiple private events such as private company meetings and company picnics.”

This level of diversification allows the Expo Center to support Porter County and avoid costing local taxpayers. 

“One essential thing to keep in mind is that the Expo Center is entirely self-sufficient,” said Daly. “The income we make with rentals, catering, and services is used to pay the salaries, insurance, utilities, etc.” 

In fact, a huge goal of the Expo Center is to remain self-sufficient and bring visitors and economic growth to Porter County. 

Not only does the Expo Center provide a wide variety of services, but its team gladly extends that friendly service off site as well. 

“We do off-premise bar services,” said Daly. “In other words, we go to venues that don't carry a license, and we can do the bar portion of that event for weddings, company picnics, and the like.”

By providing all of these services, the Expo Center not only offsets any taxpayer costs, it also is a great boost for local tourism. When people come to an event at the Expo Center, they also get the chance to immerse themselves with all the wonderful aspects the City of Valpo has to offer. Whether it’s before or after the big event, people have the chance to visit some of the many shops lining downtown or can have a friendly chat with a guide at one of the Regions many fascinating attractions. At the end of the day, this only does wonders for the area and beyond.

“On top of staying self-sufficient, we are always bringing in tourism dollars,” said Daly. “Every event we host leads to the booking of hotel rooms, restaurant visits, and shopping trips.”

Daly is proud of what the Expo Center does to support Porter County and how the work of her team showcases the work of her community overall. She loves that she is able to work in a city near and dear, and loves that she gets to share that heartwarming feeling with so many others, and it all starts right at the Expo Center.

“The events that we're doing here at the Expo Center help the county as a whole,” said Daly. “Our hope is always that we can show off what we can do here at the Expo Center and highlight all the amazing things that are available around Porter County.”

To learn more about the Porter County Expo Center and Porter County Government, please visit porterco.org.