Ohio State Fair–The FAIRest of them all

While you’re bound to see cotton candy, giant stuffed animals, bright, flashy lights and endless varieties of food at the 2014 Ohio State Fair, some other things might surprise you.

There aren’t many places you can travel to that offer a cow and calf duo made of butter, talented musicians, parades, concerts and thousands of animals all in one place. To check out all of this and more, there’s really only one place to go. The Ohio State Fair offers a diverse mix of experiences for adventurous “foodies” to those simply looking to spend a day with the family.

In addition to the typical offerings of the fair, see how agriculture plays an important role in your everyday life at Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Nationwide’s “Land and Living: Agriculture . . . Your Link to Life” display, located in the Nationwide Donahey Ag and Hort Building.

With a variety of hands-on-experiences, the “Land and Living” exhibit features several exciting components for adults and children alike:

•    A combine simulator will let you try your hand at harvesting wheat.
•    Local humane societies and rescues are bringing in some of their adoptable dogs each day for our “Hot Diggity Adoptable Dogs” Dog Park from noon to 6 p.m.
•    County Farm Bureaus have volunteered to paint and decorate watering cans to raise awareness for Ohio Farm Bureau’s “Healthy Water Ohio” initiative.
•    Many fun and interactive family friendly stage activities are planned, such as make your own Dippin Dots, visits from the Columbus Zoo and sheep shearing. See the full schedule.

Many of Ohio’s commodity groups will also participate in the exhibit. Displays and promotional pieces representing nearly all of Ohio’s agricultural industries will enlighten visitors with interactive components and educational information about their businesses.

Visitors can capture the memory of their visit to the “Land and Living Display” with a free group photo.

A trip to the Ohio State Fair is sure to be filled with something enticing for everyone in the family.

Other State Fair Highlights

Find out why “Ag is Cool!”
All Ohio students who completed the fourth grade in 2014, as well as a parent or chaperone, are invited to attend the fair for free any one day July 23 through Aug. 3, when they present a valid report card. While at the fair students will visit a variety of “Ag is Cool” stations where they will learn about crops, livestock and more!

Natural Resources Park
Go fishing, take a kayak for a spin, or watch a show in the shady amphitheater. There is also a variety of wildlife that calls the park home.

OVMA Veterinary Education Center
Witness the miracle of birth and visit new and expectant farm animal mothers and their Monster Muralyoung at this educational exhibit near the Dairy Products Building. You can even milk a real cow from noon to 4 p.m.!

Petting Zoo
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
Pony rides are offered for $3 per ride.

Ohio State Beekeepers Association
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).  

Backyard Conservation & Gardening
Come and learn how you can improve your gardening and decrease your carbon footprint by using compost bins, rain barrels and more at this event presented by Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District.

The 161st Ohio State Fair will run July 23 through to Aug. 3, 2014.

Hours of Operation:
Fair admission gates open: 9 am – 10 pm, except Aug. 4 (Closes at 8 pm)
Commercial exhibit buildings: 10 am – 9 pm
Youth Center: 8 am – 8 pm
Janis Center: 9 am – 7 pm
Other exhibit buildings: 9 am – 9 pm
Rides (Mountain Dew Midway): 10 am – 11 pm
(open until midnight Fridays and Saturdays)

Gate Admission Prices
Adults: (13 – 59) $10
Youth: (5 – 12) $8
Senior: (60+) $8
Children under five: Free

Callie Wells 

Callie Wells is the director of digital communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.