The Ohio State Fair offers fun and educational exhibits, vendors and more for visitors.
I've been going for a few years now and these are my favorite things to see and some new items this year. I also downloaded the Ohio State Fair app for my iPhone to make it easy to find concessions and attractions. You type in what you're looking for and it pops up on the map.
My top picks:
I try something new every year. This year I tried the exclusive to the fairVelvet Ice Cream flavor blueberry sweet corn in the Ohio Building. Ascoop costs $3.50.You can also find chicken and waffles on a stick, Ohio wines and various other Ohio made products and cooking shows in the round building.
I also tried the new "sloppy donut sandwich" from the people that made the donut burger a few years ago. It was good, but the frickles (fried pickles) are best off the sandwich. It's $8, but enough for two-I took half of it home with me even after sharing it. The pulled pork and donut are a mainly sweet-sweet combo, but it's good. My sister said she prefers the donut burger because its salty and sweet-and that's what most people were buying during my visit to this concession. Be sure to shop around as prices vary on similar items. The best drink deals are for the all day drinks ($7 for USA cup, $10 for big cup with all day refills) and the all day Wild Bill Root Beer refillable cups. There's also a juice bar and a place selling smoothies for those trying to be healthy and not consume too many calories.
Velvet's sweet corn blueberry ice cream.
Natural Resources Area
This area features fun things for families and people of all ages to enjoy. Learn about camping, recycling, a map of the 88 counties, waterways, scenic rivers, fishing, archery, hunting, native plantsand more. There's a special netted area for butterflies and birds. I enjoyed an entertaining lumberjack show at the pavilion-it runs daily at various times.
Watch the progress on this Ohio-themed sand sculpture. It's being worked on in an open air building near the entrance.
I enjoy seeing the different animals. Numerous riders were taking their horses around for practice and I saw some cows, rabbits and poultry animals. I always do a walk through the poultry and rabbits building. It's fun to see the variety. Be sure to check out the silly Pig Races and Welde's Bear Show, which run daily.
Visitors can see the adorable Lionhead rabbit, left, and numerous poultry varieties.
Crafts and creative arts/Arts
Located in the DiSalle Building on the northeast end are the craft and creative arts exhibits. The skill of the needlework, quilting, upcycling and cake decorating are fun to see. You can vote on your favorites, too. The fine arts are located in the building to the west of the main entrance that has a big recycling symbol on it.
I didn't take part in going on rides, but saw lots of people having fun on them. I remember doing the giant slide as a kid. Prices are $1 for small kiddie rides and $2 for the bigger rides. If you're a big rides fan, you might want to buy a wristband for unlimited rides.
A large selection of rides make up the midway. Don't forget the skyride for getting across the fair or getting a new perspective on it.
The fair is open daily 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Aug. 3. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and children 5-12, free for children younger than 5. Discount tickets can be purchased at Kroger, AAA for members and Ticketmaster for $6. All day wristbands are $23. Parking is $5. **Most days feature discounted admission-look on the main website under "discounts and promotions" for details. The fair website is at http://www.ohiostatefair.com/index.php/general-info-34/pricing-a-info/hours-a-admission. As I mentioned, there is an app with general information, search for food, car finder and a detailed map. Be sure to take plenty of cash. Also, the stroller/wheelchair rental center is cash only.