The Ohio Expo Center in Columbus hosts more than 175 events throughout the year including Equine Affair and the Custom Car Show but without a doubt the most beloved events held at the Expo is the Ohio State Fair. The Ohio State fairgrounds are massive and encompass 20 separate buildings each hosting an assortment of events. There are many great Columbus hotels available to accommodate visitors but at this time of year be sure to plan and book ahead.
State fairs are traditional events dating back more than 150 years in history. The original purpose of state fairs was to bring different communities together to advocate regional products and promote community ties. The Ohio State Fair has customarily been the largest one of Ohio fairs showcasing agricultural and cultural and is highlighted by live music, fun rides and numerous livestock shows. Currently there are almost 100 fairs offering family events in Ohio in different counties across the state that are similar to the Ohio State Fair but on a significantly smaller level.
For 12 fun and exciting days of family events in Ohio the Ohio State Fair continues to delight locals and visitors. Every year in August this Ohio Fairs schedule includes historical and antique exhibits, a farm animal delivery room, horse shows, an eight acre natural park with free fishing for kids, a fun petting zoo, exciting hypnotists and magicians, helicopter rides, different competitions, an amphitheater for even more shows, different kinds of wildlife and more! There is definitely no lack of things to do at the Ohio State Fairgrounds!
The Marketplace found on the Ohio State Fairgrounds has 152,000 square feet of space for retail and is a great place to for vendors to showcase their goods. Specialty items, clothing, artisan works and other services and goods can all be found. The Marketplace is an air conditioned facility so visitors can shop away from the summer heat and the International Food Court offers a host of different food vendors.
Just past the main gate ate at the Expo on the fairgrounds is the North Commercial Pavilion. Here visitors can find a vast assortment of crafts, demonstrations and new products. The Handmade Heritage Crafts area displays many artisans selling custom wares. Many are traditionally dressed in costumes to exhibit their unique crafts. The Antiques and Collectibles Pavilion, located beside the North Commercial Pavilion has over 20 vendors displaying a wide array of fantastic collectibles and antiques.
Admission gates at the Ohio State fairgrounds are open from 9:00am to 10:00pm with the exception of the last day of the fair when the gates close at 8:00pm. Adult admission is $8.00, tickets for ages 5-12 and seniors are $7.00 and children under 5 are free. The rides do cost extra and coupons are $1.00 a piece. Most of the children's rides are one coupon, while the bigger rides are two coupons each and the biggest yet require three coupons each. For $20.00 visitors can purchase an all-day wristband which gets them on to all the exciting rides available.
Ohio camping for the fair only is available on the Ohio State fairgrounds. Reservations can be made for the east and north lots, which have full hookups and have to be paid in advance. The west lot offers short term camping on a first come first served basis. The drive to Columbus from Dayton is about an hour and 15 minutes and from Cincinnati it's just under a two hour drive.
Canton and Akron are each about 2 ½ hours drive to Columbus if wanting to join the excellent festivities during a day trip. The Ohio State Fair is one of the most exciting family events in Ohio and remains affordable and fun for all ages. With so many things going on the whole family is sure to be entertained by the showcased activities and events.