Time for the Ohio State Fair

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

If it's getting closer to August, then it must be time for the Ohio State Fair! This year's year edition opens tomorrow and runs through Aug. 3.

If you're going to bookmark any two pages to help you navigate your way to the Fair, we recommend these two:

The Discounts and Promotions page, where you can find all the best deals on admission tickets; and

The Coupons page for deals on Fair food, activities and vendor services. Seriously good stuff there!

See you at the Fair!

Entertainment highlights

Giant Slide-Grab a burlap sack, hike up 105 steps and take an exciting trip down the 144-foot long Giant Slide! Since 1969, the Giant Slide has been a Fair tradition for all to enjoy.

Schmidt's Restaurant and Sausage Haus-Known for the "Bahama Mama" and "Jumbo Cream Puffs," Schmidt's Restaurant and Sausage Haus is celebrating 100 years at the Fair. Owner George L. Schmidt opened a booth at the Fair in 1914. Today, Schmidt's food booth is the oldest food concessionaire at the Fair and is still a Fair favorite. Stop by Schmidt's and celebrate their anniversary with some traditional German food!

Dino Walk-Have you seen the viral videos of a dinosaur roaming offices and malls? Now you can see the dino in real life! Get up close and personal with this 8-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus Rex. You'll be amazed by your prehistoric, once-in-a-lifetime encounter with this unbelievably realistic dinosaur!

SkyGlider-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.

Butter cow - On display every day in the dairy building.

Ag is Cool interactive education stations

10 am - 6 pm (closes at 3 pm on Aug. 3), various locations listed on map

Hands-on stations throughout the Fair allow you to learn about bacteria and food safety, check out bugs under a microscope, milk a cow, spin wool and much more.

Camel Rides

10 am - 9 pm, Kiddieland

Camel rides are offered for $5 per ride for children (12 and under) and $7 per ride for adults.

Central Ohio Model Railroad Club Exhibit

10 am - 9 pm, west of DiSalle Creative Arts Center presented by Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores

Fairgoers of all ages will love the elaborate, functional model railroad exhibit including a special just-for-kids Thomas and Friends section.

Civil War Encampment

10 am - 9 pm, Rhodes Center Lawn

This authentic union encampment lets you discover how soldiers lived with demonstrations on every aspect of daily life from food preparation to bullet-making. New this year, the encampment will be accompanied by the Ohio Civil War 150 traveling exhibit.

Fireworks, July 23 - Aug. 2

Approximately 9:45 pm (weather permitting), Eastern sky

Stick around and end the night with a bang as colorful fireworks light up the sky.

Natural Resources Park, 9 am - 7:30 pm

Enjoy free fishing for kids, kayaking and archery 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 a tall grass prairie. The outdoor amphitheater hosts free music and entertaining programs throughout the day.

Ohio Farm Bureau Land & Living Exhibit

9 am - 9 pm, Nationwide Donahey Ag & Hort Building

This highly interactive exhibit is packed with interesting activities and games the whole family can enjoy. Young children will enjoy driving pedal farm tractors and families can record their State Fair memories with a free photograph before leaving the exhibit.

OSU Phun with Physics

Monday - Friday: 1:30 - 4:30 pm, Youth Center (Shows at 2 pm, 4 pm)

Saturday - Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm (Shows at 11:30 am, 2 pm, 4 pm)

Enjoy radically fun, in-your-face science with cool liquid nitrogen experiments, the Spinning Barf Wheel of Science, rocket launching and more.

Monster Mural, Central Park

11 am - 6 pm (closes at 5 pm on Aug. 3)

Kids jump at the chance to make their artistic mark on a giant Fair mural each day (with washable paint, of course).


4 pm (no parade Aug. 3)

Fair mascot Butters D. Cow will be joined by local celebrities, honorees, entertainers and special guests in this tour through the Fair led by the All-Ohio State Fair Band & Youth Choir.

Petting Zoo

10 am - 10 pm (open until 11 pm Friday and Saturday), Kiddieland

The free Petting Zoo features more than 50 animals from around the world including goats, llamas, zebras, antelope, camels, kangaroos and much more.

Pony Rides

10 am - 9 pm, Kiddieland

Pony rides are offered for $3 per ride.

Sand Sculpture

Kiddieland Pavilion

A massive pile of more than 40 tons of sand will be transformed into a beautiful sculpture by Art the Experience sculptors. Be sure to stop by for a photo!

Welde's Big Bear Show presented by Printing Industries of Ohio • N. Kentucky NEW!

1 pm, 3 pm, 7 pm, Kiddieland

Enjoy the natural beauty and sometimes comical antics of a family of majestic bruins, all while learning about these beautiful bears in an exciting educational show.

Limited-time attractions

Listed by date

Sunburst Beauty Pageant

July 26, 4:30 pm, DiSalle Creative Arts Center presented by Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores

Contestants from children under age one up to 27 years old are invited to participate in this annual pageant judged based on beauty and personality.

Southern Ohio Flying K-9's Ohio Cup

July 26 - 27, 9 am - 6 pm, DiSalle Creative Arts Center presented by Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, lawn

High-flying disc dog action awaits as the Southern Ohio Flying K9s brings in many of the top disc dog teams from across the nation to compete for invitations to the world championships!

Zumba Hip-Hop Fitness Extravaganza

July 27, 6 - 8 pm, ShowPlace Pavilion

This exciting two-hour fitness event will give fairgoers the opportunity to try out Zumba for free, burning major calories while dancing to the latest Latin, R&B, hip-hop and pop music. Stick around after the fitness fun for social time with dancing and music.

Ohio State Beekeepers Association

July 27 - Aug. 3, DiSalle Creative Arts Center presented by Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, patio

Learn how to start and maintain your own beehive, as well as the importance of bees to our ecosystem, while having fun! Don't miss the beard of bees show, held daily at 1 pm (with an additional show at 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday).

50 Year Club meeting

July 28, 8:30 am, Rhodes Center Auditorium

Did you attend the Ohio State Fair in 1964 or earlier? If you answered yes, you're automatically a member of the 50 Year Club! The club's annual meeting will feature performances by the All-Ohio State Fair Band & Youth Choir, the presentation of the esteemed Giant Step Award and more.

Dancing the Day Away

Aug. 1, Noon - 8 pm, ShowPlace Pavilion

A full day of dancing, presented by Habeeba's Dance of the Arts, Ltd., will feature all types of dance from tap to hip-hop.

Ohio Lottery Fan Appreciation Day

Aug. 2, Central Park

Meet the co-host of the TV game show for your chance to win cash and prizes. Get there early - registration for your chance to play starts at 11 am.

Ohio Christian Association Music Showcase

Aug. 3, Noon, 3:30 pm, 7 pm, ShowPlace Pavilion

Talented Ohio musicians will perform Christian songs.