Ohio State Fair
717 E 17th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43211
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 we park for $5 in the lots off the 17th Avenue exit off interstate 71.
Sidebar: I don’t think I have ever paid full price for the fair admission. We usually attend on AAA day. This year, the admission was $4 per person once we showed our valid AAA card. Discounted tickets can also be purchased at Kroger.
Many attend the fair for the rides:
Sidebar: 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.
For us, this year, it was all about the performances:
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.
The pig races are a featured attraction every year. 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 show.
The Human Cannonball Crusaders show was worth the price of admission!
Were you ever afraid of heights? How did you get into this?
I was never afraid of heights. I saw an amateur circus in my home town when I was thirteen years old. I saw the high wire act and decided I wanted to do that. The next year I was in the high wire act.
Have you done it consistently since that time?
I have taken a few breaks. I worked construction. That is what I still do in my off time. These are the two jobs I have done since I graduated high school and I still do them.
How high was the high wire?
Did you have a net?
No net and no safety devices.
Tell me about the act.
I have been a human canon ball for twenty two years. I have been shot about 7,000 times. I just did the tv show “America’s Got Talent”, where I lit myself on fire and was shot from a cross bow.
How did you get into this?
I live in Peru, IN and they have an amateur circus for kids. I did that every year since I was eight years old. When I graduated from high school, I went professional. I did flying trapeze for sixteen years. After that, I decided to build a canon and have been doing that ever since.
Did you build this canon?
Yes. I have built seven canons. Now, I have three canons and a cross bow.
Do you have some unique George Jetson fuel?
Yeah, I keep it a secret, since I design and build them. I don’t reveal how it works. I am self taught. I designed it, build it, then taught myself how to fly out of it.
The “Flippin’- The Aerial and Acrobatic Spectacular” show was a new attraction at the Fair. It was worth the price of admission! It was fantastic!
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.
Sidebar: I loved the girl in the back performing! Give her a couple of years she just might be able to take her show on the road.
Sidebar: I was walking by the Gazebo and saw Drew Murry shoving this balloon in his mouth. Then he talked after he appeared to swallow it. Due to a time constraint, I wasn’t able to see him pull it back, but he said he was going to do that later. This falls into the category of how did he do that?
Other things to see:
My TakeThere 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.