Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
For as long as I can remember, I have attended the Ohio State Fair. My father took me to the fair for the first time when I was two years old. I really don’t remember going; but, my mother told me that I came home with vanilla ice cream all over my face and my clothes. The first memory I have of attending the fair is when I went with my cousins to spend the day at the fair. I remember budgeting my money to play a few games, as well as ride the bumper cars, and go in the fun house. Since that time, I have gone to the fair to see concerts, to eat, to enjoy the attractions, to ride a few rides, etc. We have made attending the fair a family tradition for several years.
Each year, my mother insists that we attend the All Ohio State Choir performance at the Martin Janis Senior Citizen Center. According to https://ohiostatefair.com/band-choir/ the choir has 200 members. I enjoyed the melodious sound of the choir and the comfortable air-conditioned seating. The musical selections were accompanied by students playing the piano. Everyone did an excellent job.
Each year, we eat our meal or meals (depending on how long we are at the fair) at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s tent. Their prices are very affordable. They offer a cheeseburger or hamburger, fries, and a small drink for a few dollars. (I think it cost $5 or $8). That’s cheap compared to most of the other vendors. It’s not only cheap; but, it is good and the meat tastes fresh. We look forward to eating there every year.
Milking the cow is about the only agriculture we include in our tradition. We enjoy watching a few children milk a cow. The closest we get to the agriculture buildings is when we take our annual shuttle ride around the fair before we leave.
We didn’t ride the sky ride this year. We usually walk around the fair. But, there have been times, when my feet hurt, that I was happy to pay whatever the cost to ride.
The pig races are a featured attraction every year. The adults as well as the kids enjoy watching the pig races. Even though it is about the same each year, this race is always well attended. Since we have already seen the pig races, we still enjoy seeing a few minutes of it on the way to the featured animal show.
This show was worth the price of admission! Since, I am a dog lover, I might be a tad bit biased. It amazes me that they train rescue dogs to maneuver the agility course and dive off the dock. But, whether you are a dog lover or not, these marvelous mutts caught the attention of everyone who attended.
This show was a new attraction at the Fair. It was worth double the price of admission! It was fantastic! They had performers on the sway poles, the revolving wheel of steel aerial pendulum and two motorcycles inside a 17-foot steel globe. My favorite part of the show was when it seemed like the performers were going to fall off the revolving wheel of steel aerial pendulum. And, second to that is when one of the performers got in the steel globe and the motorcyclist rode around her. If you look closely they are attempting a high five. These stunts left me speechless at times and it kept me on the edge of my seat.
This is another attraction that is featured every year at the Fair. It is performed at the Natural Resources Park amphitheater. This show is very popular and is well attended every year. This show is about the same each year. Since we have already seen this show, we caught a few minutes of it on the way to see another attraction.
This is a very popular attraction every year. It is located at the Natural Resources Park. It is fun to watch the reaction of children when Smokey calls them by name. They just can’t figure it out as to how Smokey knew their name.
The Natural Resource Park has many activities for the young and the young at heart. They offer fishing, archery, kayaking, etc. I didn’t climb in the kayak or stand in line for archery THIS year; but, I have in previous years. I loved kayaking and archery I enjoyed trying both for FREE! In my opinion, these are two more activities worth the price of admission.
According to https://ohiostatefair.com/band-choir/, the band has been around since 1963. (That’s a long time!) We always enjoy the music; but, we seek out the band primarily to see the drum major. My mom taught baton lessons as a teen ager at the Neighborhood house for $.50 per student. I won’t tell her age; but, it was SEVERAL DECADES ago.
We usually find a seat to watch the parade. There were too many great components of this parade to show in the blog. In order to see the highlights of our fair experience, please click the link to the slideshow on our You Tube channel: https://youtu.be/HJhK82MEl_w
The fair is not a fair without games. I saw a few people walking around with prizes; so, it didn’t appear that the games were rigged. It’s funny, as a youth, I thought all the games that had nice prizes were rigged.
My days of riding the rides are about over. If I’m tired and the ride is going to get me to my car faster, then sign me up. Otherwise, I’m going to pass.
You can see anybody at the fair….
This is a tradition that I once shared with my niece. Her summer visit didn’t correspond with the fair and since I was stuffed with two kid’s meals from the Ohio Cattleman’s Association, I skipped getting French waffles.
We always visit the “air conditioned” exhibit building to get relief from the heat and to view the exhibits. We usually buy some fudge and cashew nuts before leaving the building.
There is so much to see at the Ohio State Fair. There is no way you can see everything the fair has to offer in one day. The Ohio State Fair is what you make it. It is a great opportunity to start and continue a family/friend tradition. Your fair experience could be completely different than my fair experience. But, at the end of the day, the memories are still priceless.