state fair midway

10 Things Not to Miss at the Ohio State Fair

The 161st annual Ohio State Fair takes place at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus July 23-Aug. 3. We’ve picked 10 State Fair experiences that range from the classic to the novel – if you follow these tips, you’ll truly make the most of your visit!

john stamos1. John Stamos and the Beach Boys – Actor and musician John Stamos will be performing with The Beach Boys on the Celeste Center stage on July 29. Stamos, known for his role as Uncle Jesse on the long-running show “Full House” will join The Beach Boys on guitar, vocals and drums. And there’s plenty more entertainment where that came from – the full schedule is here.

2. The Butter Cow – This 111-year-old tradition is a must-see.

state fair llama costume3. Show-Llamas – Llama and alpacas get their swagger on in the livestock shows. Ohio has more llamas and alpacas than any other state, and they show up at the fair in full force for aesthetic competitions and even a costume contest. Find them in the Brown Sheep and Llama Building.

4. Go Fish – Enjoy free fishing for kids, kayaking, archery and more at this beautiful eight-acre park maintained by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. There are so many things to observe such as native Ohio wildlife, a log cabin, a geological walkway and the famed lumberjack shows. The outdoor amphitheater hosts free music and entertaining programs throughout the day.

5. Pig Races -At least four times a day, you can watch piglets race around a track for prizes!

state fair 1 sky glider6. The Sky-Glider – One of the world’s longest portable sky rides is right in your backyard at the Ohio State Fair.  Hop on and enjoy a relaxing bird’s eye view of the fair in a half-mile journey across the grounds.

7. Fireworks – If you love fireworks, you’ll love the Ohio State Fair. Every night, just after sunset, the sky is lit up with a beautiful display.

8. Mammoth Vegetables – This is a great way to see the fair’s roots as a primarily agricultural event. Home-gardeners from around the state enter their veggies into competitions like “Largest Watermelon,” “Longest String-Bean,” and “Odd and Natural Growth (Must Be Naturally Occurring.”

9. Camel Rides – Kids and adults can head to Kiddieland to take a camel ride for $5-7.

Blueberry & Ohio Sweet Corn Ice Cream10. Fair Food – For many people, the fair is all about the food. Fried anything, anything on a stick. You’ll find all that, but don’t miss Velvet Ice Cream‘s exclusive State Fair flavor: Sweet Corn Blueberry.

What’s the fair experience you look forward to every year?

  • Jessica Saunders

    I go to see the goats & eat greasy crap that’s bad for me!

  • K-Town

    The All-Ohio State Fair Band!

  • Ria Greiff

    What the hell is a bear show?!? And I understand there are camel rides?!? Why do people continue to abuse animals for their entertainment. HICKS! This is why enlightened individuals don’t go to the fair because small minded idiots all congregate there.

  • ursa major

    The bear “show” was actually an educational conservation presentation. There are camel rides (and ponies) at the Columbus Zoo too. Best to not take your smug judgmental attitude there either.

  • Guest

    The camel rides at the zoo are awful and I am trying to get them shut down. As far as animals performing for your entertainment:

    Animals do not willingly stand on their heads, jump through rings of
    fire, or ride bicycles. They don’t perform these tricks because they
    want to and they don’t do any of these meaningless
    acts in their natural habitat. The ONLY reason animals perform
    is because they are scared of what will happen to them if they don’t.
    “Educational” programs and abusement parks would like you to think that these intelligent and sentient creatures perform because they are positively reinforced with food,
    praise etc. There is no such thing as positive reinforcement for animals
    in the circus – only varying levels of punishment, neglect, and
    deprivation. These animals have limited access to food and water as to
    will them to perform, as well as to prevent untimely defecation and
    urination while they are on stage or in public view.

    Enjoy the show.

  • Ria Greiff

    The camel rides at the zoo are awful and I am trying to get them shut down. As far as animals performing for your entertainment:

    Animals do not willingly stand on their heads, jump through rings of
    fire, or ride bicycles. They don’t perform these tricks because they
    want to and they don’t do any of these meaningless
    acts in their natural habitat. The ONLY reason animals perform
    is because they are scared of what will happen to them if they don’t.
    “Educational” programs and abusement parks would like you to think that these intelligent and sentient creatures perform because they are positively reinforced with food,
    praise etc. There is no such thing as positive reinforcement for animals
    performing for your entertainment – only varying levels of punishment, neglect, and
    deprivation. These animals have limited access to food and water as to
    will them to perform, as well as to prevent untimely defecation and
    urination while they are on stage or in public view.

    Enjoy the show.

  • Retry

    ODNR is an educational program that tells about animals in the wild, not dancing bears. Duh