Summer Activities guide

Five Ways To Experience The Ohio State Fair

By
Joe Vargo - Experience Columbus staff writer

Dateline
Updated Fri, Jul 19, 2013 12:41 pm
Photo Credit: 
Columbus Dispatch

Have you been to the Ohio State Fair? It’s huge! Every time you go, you can put on a different hat and have a whole new experience.

Here are five ways you can make your game plan for this year's fair, taking place July 24-Aug. 4 in Columbus.

1. Thrill seeker

Adrenaline junkies can get their fix on the Mountain Dew Midway. With more than 70 different rides of varying thrill levels, the variety of the Mountain Dew Midway and Kiddieland ensures that fairgoers will find something appropriate for both their age level and adrenaline needs! One of the Fair’s new rides is the Moonraker – riders sit on an oscillating, spinning disc that rises into the air. It is the only ride of its kind in North America! Those who wish to find their thrills in other way can come face to face with 20 different kinds of lizards and snakes at Snakes Alive by Reptile Rick and Jungle Jenny Teepen.

2. Art and wine aficionado

Those who enjoy the finer things in life can browse more than 280 pieces of artwork in the Cox Fines Arts Center. The DiSalle Creative Arts Center exhibits the entries of competitors across more than 450 arts and crafts competitions. Additionally, DiSalle features craft demonstrations. Fairgoers can watch demonstrations at the Heritage Handmade Crafts Building such as floral arranging and wooden sign painting. For those who feel craftier in the kitchen, cooking shows and demonstrations occur several times per day at the Taste of Ohio Café, Bricker MarketPlace Building and DiSalle Creative Arts Center.

Outdoors, fairgoers may witness the Plein Air painting and street painting competitions that take place on grounds during the Fair. Wine enthusiasts will enjoy talking to winemakers from all over Ohio at the Meet the Winemaker exhibit in the Taste of Ohio Café. On July 28 and 29 fairgoers can also sample wines and learn more about the wines they love at Ohio Wines 101, also in the Taste of Ohio Café.

3. Fair food fanatic

One of the most popular reasons for visiting the Fair is to sample the one-of-a-kind foods. Though classic menu items such as French fries, pizza and corndogs rank as the top selling foods year after year, Fairgoers still anticipate the return of other Fair favorites like Italian sausages, barbecue ribs and cheese on a stick. Don’t forget the delicious desserts such as funnel cakes, elephant ears, apple dumplings and deep-fried Oreos.

Have something particular in mind? Fairgoers can download the food finder mobile app for iPhone and Android smartphones to help locate the snacks that they’re craving. The food finder can also be accessed by texting “Food Find” to 88588. Some added bonuses to the food finder app include daily Fair schedules, a map of the grounds and our Park & Pin tool, which can be used to locate your parking spot! New this year is the Taste of the Fair program. Vendors displaying a Taste of the Fair decal on their booth will be offering smaller portion sizes of popular menu items for a discounted price. This means that visitors can sample more fair foods without killing their appetite!

4. Outdoor enthusiast

If you think the Fair is just a concrete jungle of food vendors and livestock animals, think again! The Natural Resources Park, maintained by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, provides eight acres of shaded area with plenty to explore. Kiddie fishing, kayaking, lumberjack shows and Columbus Zoo animal visits are just a few of the activities that fairgoers can enjoy in the Natural Resources Park. Whether you want to witness a genuine lumberjack log roll on the water or just take a leisurely stroll through the butterfly garden is up to you!

5. Able competitor

Fairgoers with a strong competitive spirit will be excited to know that several Fair competitions and contests allow participants to enter the day of the event. All men and women are invited to register for and compete in the Ohio State Fair 5k, power lifting competition and open wrestling tournament on the day of the events.
Visitors are also welcome to join in on the spirit by watching other sports competitions that take place in the Buckeye Sports Center and ShowPlace Pavilion throughout the Fair such as boxing, cheerleading, taekwondo and baton twirling.

Ohio State fans should catch the Buckeye Sports Fest on July 27 in the WCOL Celeste Center. Visitors can meet with Ohio State athletes and coaches, receive discounts on upcoming Buckeye sporting events and join in on Buckeye interactive activities.
Fairgoers should check back next spring for information on how to enter all Fair competitions.

Check back next week for even more ways to have a great time at the Ohio State Fair.

Republished with permission from Experience Columbus.

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