Columbus Prepares For The Ohio State Fair

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Image of Carnival Rides at a State Fair.   
Since 1850, the Ohio State Fair has served as an opportunity to soak up everything great about being a resident of the Buckeye State.

In 2018, that means eating Dragon’s Breath or a Philly Donut Burger, catching a performance by country music icon Reba McEntire or R&B legends TLC, getting a selfie taken with a butter cow or taking part in one of thousands of other slices of Americana-themed fun.

One of the biggest fairs in the country, this year’s event takes place July 25 through August 5 at The Ohio Expo Center & State Fair, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus. More than 800,000 people visited the annual event in 2017, with similar numbers expected this year.

In addition to the hundreds of livestock exhibitions and unique contests awarding prizes in various areas such as art, homebrewing, tattoos and beards, a few of the highlights of this year’s fair include:

Fair Food

No fair is a fair without a plethora of scrumptious – and often sinfully fried – food. The Ohio State Fair does not disappoint, including fare such as:

  • Dragon’s Breath: This “science meets fantasy” dessert from Martin’s Fine Foods lets visitors try nitrogen dragon puffs, complete with smoke bellowing from their nostrils and mouth.
  • Philly Donut Burger: This sweet feast from the Dickerson & Kenna Donut Burger stand features shaved steak atop a grilled hamburger thoughtfully placed between two Krispy Kreme donuts.
  • Sriracha Bacon Tots: The Tot Shop’s twist on a classic side lather tater tots with a sriracha sauce, topped with bacon to finish off the decadent concoction.
  • Turkey Ribs: Included on the Ohio Eggs, Turkey and Chicken booth’s menu, this dish takes all-white turkey breast on the bone, slathered with a healthy dose of BBQ sauce.


In addition to McEntire (July 26) and TLC (July 27, performing with En Vogue), the fair welcomes a slew of classic and modern artists such as The Beach Boys (July 25), The Commodores (July 28), Trevor Noah (July 29), Casting Crowns (July 30), Kidz Bop Live 2018 (July 31), Brothers Osborne (August 1), Lee Brice (August 3) and Cheap Trick and Styx (August 4). Tickets to all shows may be purchased online at Ticketmaster or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Connect With Nature

The fair offers a chance to escape the city and summer heat in its own Natural Resources Park. This section offers the chance for the whole family to learn about Ohio’s natural areas and conservation practices, featuring: free fishing for kids; kayaking; butterfly house; watercraft simulator; Smokey Bear; daily lumberjack shows; and the new Touch a Truck exhibit, where children can see the different types of vehicles used by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Get your Ohio State Fair tickets online today.

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