The 158th annual Ohio State Fair kicks off this week, and offers a wide variety of entertainment options for kids, adults and everyone in between. If you’re on the fence about attending, then you’ll want to read through the list we’ve compiled of reasons why you need to spend some time at the fair this summer.
1. Booze – Beer and wine have previously been absent from the Ohio State Fair, but this year they will both be a new addition. You won’t be allowed to carry beers around in most areas, but wine tastings will be available in the Taste of Ohio Café and drinks will be available at some of the music concerts as well.
2. Art – As Jeff Regensburger put it last year, “The Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition is perhaps a little too easy to overlook”. This annual exhibit showcases a variety of styles of work from artists all over the state. You can read Jeff’s review from last year’s exhibit to get an idea of what you might expect this year.
3. The Butter Cow – Yeah, you know you want to see it. Just admit it. You’ll never see another life-size butter sculpture anywhere else but the fair.
4. Fireworks – Nightly fireworks will close out the Ohio State Fair each evening. Technically, you can watch these from afar, but fireworks are always the most fun when you’ve got a front row seat.
5. Non-Hellish Temperatures – The weather forecast over the next 10 days makes it look like this crazy heatwave might actually start to break and temperatures might get back down into a more manageable mid-80s range. Enjoy the sun without being destroyed by the sun!
6. Concerts – A diverse concert lineup is always aligned with the Ohio State Fair, providing music fans a reason to visit. This year’s roster features Key$ha, Meat Loaf, Seether, Loretta Lynn, The Oak Ridge Boys, Big Time Rush, New Hollow, Trace Adkins, The O’Jays, Journey, Foreigner, Melissa Etheridge, Brad Paisley and more.
7. Rides – Yeah, they’re not quite as thrilling as what you might fight at Cedar Point or King’s Island, but many of the Ohio State Fair rides are certainly more entertaining than their smaller county fair counterparts. The giant slide is always a good time for both kids and adults, and offers a surprisingly nice view of Downtown from the top.
8. The Petting Zoo – If you’re taking kids to the fair, then the petting zoo area is a must-stop. Primarily farm-animal centric, it provides a fun reconnection to our agricultural surroundings without leaving the central city.
9. Ethnic Foods – The fair is generally known more for elephant ears, corn dogs and pizza, but there’s actually a much wider variety of food to be found if you know where to look. The food court inside the MarketPlace Building is home to a variety of cuisines from around the world. Plus, it’s a much easier area to find a place to sit and eat while cooling off with the A/C.
10. Deep Fried Anythingyouwant – It wouldn’t be a trip to the fair if you didn’t get at least one item that’s been deep fried… mushrooms, onion rings, twinkies, candy bars, funnel cakes, elephant ears… whatever your heart-attack desires.
The 2011 Ohio State Fair takes place at the Ohio State Fairgrounds from Wednesday July 27th through Sunday, August 7th. More information can be found online at www.ohiostatefair.com.