163rd Ohio State Fair Guide

The Ohio State Fair | July 27th - Aug 7th 

Ohio's culture is deeply rooted in tradition and the annual Ohio State Fair is no exception. If you're planning on heading to the 163rd Ohio State Fair which opened yesterday, I have a few tips for you from discounts and apps to can't miss exhibitions, Pokemon Go and more!


For those of you who have been coming to the fair for years, be sure to check out the new attractions Sea Lion Splash and Arctic Olympics High Dive Show throughout the duration of the fair!

If you're heading down with little ones they can ride a camel ($5) or a pony ($4) in Kiddieland. You can have lots of free fun playing a giant game of tic tac toe with the family, stopping by the Monster Mural to see if you have a future Picasso on your hands and/or petting all of the adorable animals at the petting zoo.

The fair proudly hosts different educational attractions like the AG Is Cool Interactive Stations, OSU Phun with Physics, OVMA Veterinary Center, Backyard Conservation & Gardening and the Ohio State Beekeeping Association

Looking to show off this year? We have the Old Familiar Beard Bash Competition, the Ohio Best Tattoo Competition presented by High Street Tattoo and the Sunburst Beauty Pageant! If you're on the fence between spectator and star, there is also the Zumba Hip Hop Fitness Extravaganza and Dance Arts by Habeeba where you can observe different dance genres and try to learn a step or two. 

Help protect the great state of OHIO from a zombie apocalypse in the exciting new paintball course, Zombie Acres, presented by CD 102.5. Every vote counts for the People's Choice Award at the Pork Rib-Off, yes voting does mean that you will get a free sample of the best pulled pork, ribs and barbecue sauces in the state. Don't forget to participate in the Guinness World Record Breaking Ice Cream Eating Contest with Velvet Ice Cream on August 3rd at 11:30am!


In the 1900s the tradition of butter sculpting contests began, however originally they had no restrictions on what they could sculpt. In 1903 the first butter sculpture of a cow and calf was featured and later added as a permanent fixture at the fair when the Dairy Products Building was constructed in the 1920s. In the later years, new cow and calf sculptures were created to reflect the positive ideals and cultural trends in Ohio. Some previous sculptures include Jack Nicklaus, Dave Thomas of Wendy's, Furby, Darth Vader, Neil Armstrong, Columbus' Bicentennial Birthday cake and more!

Last year's surprise sculpture was a tribute to the Ohio State University Buckeyes national championship in the college football playoffs! Keeping in theme, this year's sculpture commemorates the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship victory.


Have no fear, technology is here! The Ohio State Fair has created a mobile food finding app to help you sort through the nearly 200 different food vendors until you find the one (or two, or three, or more) that hit the spot. You can download the android version here and the Apple version here. The app also includes a schedule, a very handy park & pin feature, map, competition results and more! If you're not an app user, don't worry just keep walking, follow your nose and you will find plenty of food options from chocolate covered bacon and deep fried candy bars to traditional and delicious fair food or an assortment of ethnic cuisine. 


The entertainment this year is going to be amazing! The separately ticketed concert series events feature Charlie Puth w/ DNCE, Maddie & Tae, Kenny Rogers, Rachel Platten w/ A Great Big World, Dollie Parton and more. Jeff Dunham will also be at the fair on August 4th and 7th. The All Ohio State Fair Band & Youth Choir Concert is a non-ticketed event that will be on Sunday 31st at 1:00pm. For a full list of concerts visit here, for stage entertainers visit here, for Roving Entertainment please visit here and for a full list of FREE LIVE MUSIC visit here

This year fair officials made an effort to not only honor the past, but embrace the future and technology. In addition to an app, they have also jumped on the POKEMON GO bandwagon with 17 Pokestops and Pokegyms throughout the fairgrounds. You can view a full map here!


You can purchase tickets at the fair, or for a discounted rate at your local Kroger, Ohio O'Reilly Auto Parts store and participating Ticketmaster & AAA locations. Keep in mind if you plan on attending a concert, those tickets are sold separately, but they do include fair admission. If you're looking to save some extra money, download and print this coupon book or attend the fair on one these special promotion days

Don't forget to download the Ohio State Fair APP which includes a schedule, a very handy park & pin feature, a map, competition results and more! Android version is available here and the Apple version here

This is NOT a full list of all the wonderful things going on at the 163rd Annual Ohio State Fair, but I hope it helps to get everyone started. I personally have always loved the crazy mouse ride, monkey show and general people watching. Please stay hydrated, safe and have lots of fun!

Tag #ColumbestHomes in your pictures of your favorite fair events so I can see what everyone enjoyed!