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!
1. 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.
3. 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!
6. 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.
10. 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?