Last summer, when August rolled around, I realized that we had missed the Ohio State Fair. This year, I was not going to let it pass me by!
I LOVE fairs. I love the smell, the sound, the lone bench to sit on and watch people go by. I love watching the rides, eating the food, taking pictures, having fun, feeling dirt kicked up by the animals and the tractors. I love watching and wondering WHY someone would ever leave their house wearing such an absurd thing. I love seeing people from all over the place. It’s like an airport…only complete with entertainment and the freedom to leave if it gets too hot or noisy!
I have been to some pretty good small-town county fairs. But I really, really wanted to go to The Ohio State Fair. We planned to make the fair an all day thing on Saturday, but woke up to pouring rain, so decided to go on Tuesday after I got off work. This meant less time at the fair, but also MUCH less crowded!
We saw so many interesting things- and I loved every minute of it!
One disclaimer- I am a horrible photographer in public. It takes a lot of guts to get that perfect shot, and I just can’t do it when there are strangers around. I can get any angle in my home, not afraid to try anything when to get that shot. But when I get out in public I am SO cautious. I don’t want to get any (random) people in the picture, so I usually don’t take many pictures. Grr, I know I need to work on that!
This year we actually didn’t attempt any of the rides. As I get older, those things look less and less fun. I can’t even believe I went on spinning things when I was younger. Around and around and around and around….barf! (and those spinning swings ALWAYS remind me of our senior trip…when the generous swing man decided to give us many rounds around and around and around and around just because he was having so much fun watching all the white kids! ha!).
We started by simply walking around, looking at the different stalls and taking it all in.
I even ran into Abraham Lincoln, who insisted that I ask him any question about himself…but I had no clue what to ask.
We went into some of the building that housed “winning” things, like jellies, pies, quilts, and other such creations. It always amazes me what people can create!
Ohio is not complete without farm equipment! I have been stuck on a two-lane road behind one of these babies before…
There was some interesting information in several booths….about everything, really. Like hairballs.
And there was, of course, the animals. For some reason, when we got to the fair, there was no show animals. I was SO disappointed, as the fair is all about show animals. There were pens for pigs, horses, cows, goats and chickens..but no animals. We figured that the animal show part was already over, or maybe just on the weekends (the website is currently down, so I can’t verify that at the moment). However, there was a petting zoo, and that was good enough for us! =)
After walking around for a couple hours, we bought ourselves some fudge and some fair food (cowboy fried rice and pork!), and sat down to watch some little tykes do a very friendly tractor pull. There were kids from 4-9 years old pulling tractors, simply volunteering from the audience, so anyone could join. In the 9 year old category, two boys tied and had to do a re-pull to determine the winner. One boy ended up winning, but not by much. However, the “losing” boy’s Dad hugged his son, and led him over to the winning boy and family. The congratulated the winning boy and shook his hand. Now that is parenting a son done right!
By this time, it was getting late and we were both getting tired, so we decided to fit in a pig race and a sea lion show before we headed home. The pig race was interesting, but only about 20 seconds long. The sea lion show was fantastic! I loved it!
And with that, here are my top five tips when heading to the fair:
1. Go on a weekday, if at all possible. You beat the crowds. And there are still plenty of people there. You just beat the crowds.
2. Leave at least an hour before closing. One word: traffic. Theo and I got out before there was any traffic, and made such a good ending to our day. The night before (at work) Theo had gotten stuck in the fair traffic in the ambulance with a little girl patient. That was not fun.
3. Take cash and make a budget!
Cash is always good, even though fairs are now starting to provide ATMs as well as kiosks accepting credit cards. Making a budget is also extremely important. Theo and I spent a lot of money for just one day at the fair:
$20- Admission ($10 each)
$10- Caricature (it looks nothing like us, ha!)
$5- Random lint roller that some guy sold us haha
That adds up to over $60. And we didn’t go on a single ride. Now, when you count that as dinner and entertainment for a date, that’s not bad. But plan a budget. Decide beforehand what you will or will not pay for.
4. Check the weather. It always helps to know what to expect.
5. GO TO THE FAIR! It’s a blast. And really worth it. The Ohio State Fair is open until Sunday, August 4! Otherwise, look for a county fair near you!