Go Fest: Franklin County Fair

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

What you need to know: Franklin County Fair

When: July 18-25

Where: Franklin County Fairgrounds, Hilliard

Cost: Tickets are $5 July 18-23 and $6 July 24-25

Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. weekends; rides are open 12-10 p.m. weekdays, 12-11 p.m. weekends

Parking: Free parking is available at Gate 4, off Northwest Parkway on the east side of the fenced area of fairgrounds.


Why you should go

The Midway games, the fabulous fried food, the just-shaky-enough-to-be-scary carnival rides - that's right, it's county fair time!

The annual Franklin County Fair will bring all the expected fair fare, with livestock shows and sales, a petting zoo, cooking contests, 4-H competitions, clowns, living statues and corndogs. Mmm, corndogs. Evening entertainment includes rodeos, motocross, and truck and tractor pulls.

For ride-lovers, Ferris wheels are always a safe bet. But thrill-seekers will surely find something to drop them from a preposterous height or spin them in violent circles until they're nauseous.

Ride tickets are $2 for children and $3 for adults, but the best value is an all-day ride pass for $12.

What's new

In short, performing animals. The Elephant Encounter (arriving Monday, July 20) offers an up-close-and-personal look at the world's largest land animals, while the stars of the Great Little Bear and Dog Show will entertain you with their special brand of tricks and talents.

What to eat & drink

Arguably the best (and unhealthiest) aspect of the fair is the food. All the deep-fried and sugary goodness your heart desires will be available. Vendors will be serving up cotton candy, funnel cakes, pizza, cheeseburgers, elephant ears, french fries, lemon shake-ups and so much more.


Various music groups and other entertainers will take the stage throughout the week, with this year's headliners performing Friday and Saturday, July 24-25, in the entertainment tent.

Capital Sound Band will play funk, blues, soul and rock hits from the '60s to today at 6 p.m. Friday, July 24. Saturday has rock 'n' roll cover band Wrong Sauce playing at 1 p.m. and country act Southern Justice at 5:30.

Don't miss

Demolition Derby! Starting at 7 p.m. in the Grandstand, you can watch cars trying to destroy other cars. It's like NASCAR, but entertaining. For an extra $10, you can get a front-row view of the carnage from the pit (helmet not required, but recommended).