Columbus – July 2018 – Faces of the Fair

Another trip to the Ohio State Fair – my theme for this year is the Faces of the Fair.

Human – Animal – otherwise.


First up – the Bee Growers tent representative.

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A completely sheered sheep (except the nose and ears, not sure why that was left that way)

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Hanging out for a week or two at the fair must be boring for this little guy.

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The sheep show contestants were very dressed up.

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While the queen had seen enough.

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A prize winner.

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I like his horns.

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The white sheep of the family.

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There are a number of stages for performers.

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The butter sculptures are always a big hit. The theme this year is the movie the Christmas Story. While it was set in Indiana, it was partially filmed at a house in Cleveland which to this day maintains a steady tourist trade.

They added to the scene with a calf sticking it’s tongue to the cold pole as well.

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Ralphie and his rabbit outfit, along with the Leg Lamp.

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A newborn calf.

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Another newborn calf with a great drool going.

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The poultry barn offered a number of great faces.

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Love ‘birds’.

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The Marvelous Mutts Dog Show.

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The dogs are aces at Frisbee catching.

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Back in the poultry house.

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A giant animatronics Smokey the Bear.

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The Ohio Nut Growers Association had a collection of nutcrackers.

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The clown band always draws bemused looks.

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A guy did a ‘comedy routing/magic act’ show – this young man thought he was opening a box with a live snake, only to have the old ‘rubber snake coming out of the box’ trick pulled on him.

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The magic act continues.

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In the Arts and Crafts section – an award winning cake.

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More faces in the crowd.

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Finally it was time to head home.

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See you next year.

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Columbus – July 2017 – Ohio State Fair

The Ohio State Fairgrounds has been at the same location since 1886, when the land was north of town. Now it is in the  middle of the city, between Ohio State University and some inner city neighborhoods, along the flight path for the airport.

It is in this setting that each year thousands of Ohio youth (and adults) bring their prized animals for show.  Nothing like a morning in Columbus with about 1000 rooster cackling, airplanes blasting over, and the smell of 1000 fried food stands. Still it seems to have become an annual event for photography.

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In addition to the animals there is the always fascinating ‘butter sculpture’. Imagine the cholesterol.

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Also featured are crafts.

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Prize winning cake.

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Throughout the midway are rides, and other attractions including the ‘Wild Monkeys’ show.

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Columbus – August 2016 – State Fair Revisited

As previously noted we rarely revisit an event, but we did for the Doo Dah Parade, as well as the Ohio State Fair and the Twins Day Parade.  The fair highlights were:

Cloaked Sheep

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Strutting chickens

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People dressed like giant chickens

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Queens and Cows

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Butter sculptures celebrating the Cleveland Cavaliers championship

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New born chicks

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Flying Cowboys

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Flying Riders

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and spooky dolls

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Columbus – July 2016 – Cars, Jazz, Ribs, Pies and More Cars

A Saturday in late July brought a number of events in the area so we made a full day of it. First up – a Custom Car show down Main Street in Delaware, Ohio. While this car show was nowhere near a nice as the one at Greenfield Village, or even the Good Guys Show at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, they still had a significant number of cars lining both sides of the street for 5 blocks. Nearly all were American, most were customized, but still a nice diversion to start of a long, hot day.

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From there we went downtown to the Jazz & Ribs Festival, along the Scioto Mile. This was one instance that the music was better than the food. We spent a couple of hours listening to a variety of the bands, and enjoying the sights and smells of the rib booths.

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But it was hot – so we moved on to a brief visit to the Audubon Park, just south of downtown Columbus, where I had the opportunity to use my new zoom, taking photos of an Osprey nest, with their wings fully expanded.

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Finally we went to the Franklin County Fairgrounds for two events I had seen advertised earlier, a pie eating contest and a demolition derby. The pie eating contest was a hoot, with the contesting eating cream pies. The contestants ranged from intense, jam their entire face into the pies to ladies who were hesitant to get anything on their faces. The saving grace was our seat was in front of giant fans.

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Last up was the demolition derby, where we went directly after the pie eating, luckily jamming ourselves onto a couple of seat since most of the crowd had sent scouts to camp out and save seats throughout the 2000 seat metal stands. By the time the nect 30 minutes had passed, and the temperature had cooled off to 95 degrees, the place was packed with stereotypical demolition derby fans. After a couple of events (kids big wheel derby, lawn mower demolition derby and a couple with cars) we were done with the heat and headed home. A busy day – but not one of the best.

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Columbus Area – October 2015 – County Fair, Corvettes & Old Firetrucks

A beautiful, warm sunny mid October Thursday brought an eclectic agenda with the primary event a visit to the Fairfield County Fair. But first a visit to the Central Ohio Fire Museum in downtown Columbus.

The Central Ohio Fire Museum is dedicated to current and past firefighters, as well as a focus on fire prevention. They have an excellent collection of hand-drawn, horse-drawn and motorized fire apparatus set in a restored 1908 Columbus Engine House (No.16) on 4th Street about a block from the Convention Center.

Current and retired firefighters volunteer to assist with the restoration of the equipment, as well as act as docents. The day we were there two gentlemen took the time to walk us around much of the exhibit explaining their history and uses. Of particular interest was the hose tower, for hanging and drying the hoses.

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While the collection of old fire trucks, hose heads, old wood water pipe sections and  were very cool without a doubt the steam pumper “The Monarch” was the most impressive, both visually and in it’s use. A visit to the Central Ohio Fire Museum is strongly recommended, the kid in you will love it.

We continued out of town to the Fairfield County Fair. Held in Lancaster since 1851, the Fair is the last of all county fairs in Ohio, and is billed as Ohio’s oldest continually running fair. Usually the cooler October weather adds to the appeal, and this day was no different, a perfect sunny day with temperatures about 70 degrees, in an excellent setting beneath Mount Pleasant, a 250′ high rock outcropping set in the appropriately named Rising Park, all located across the street from the fairgrounds north end.

There are numerous old buildings throughout the fairgrounds, the highlights being the curved grandstands on a back corner (that unfortunately arsonists burned down in 2016), a round barn, and the ‘newer’ brick grandstands that were built in 1927. After spending a couple of hours checking out the harness racing horses, other various animals, a restored village complete with an antique tractor collection and a small collection of booths we made our way to the grandstands for some harness racing. With the anthem being provided by a band of about 10 guys age 70+ we settled in for a few races, complete with betting booths.

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The Fairfield County Fair is better than most of the other county fairs I have been to, mostly because of location and timing, but is far from the State Fair – which is part of it’s appeal.

Last stop of the day was the Bob McDorman Corvette collection in Canal Winchester. Bob was a Chevy dealer for many years, and had collected Corvette’s, and other cars. Eventually he built a nice building in the middle of the small town that now houses the museum.

The cars are presented in  a straightforward manner, lined up on each side of the building interspersed with some of the neon sign collection, and other artifacts. One room set off by itself was distinctive with it’s checkered flag floor and two 1978 Indy 500 Pace Car Corvettes, along with a recreation of Bob’s office.

The museum is not bad, however compared to others the $10 entry fee was a bit high. If you are into cars it is worth the visit, but you won’t likely spend more than an hour there.

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Columbus – August 2015 – Ohio State Fair

One hot Saturday in August we went to the biggest annual event in Columbus, one that I had never been to, the Ohio State Fair. The Ohio State Fair is one of the largest state fairs in the United States. In 2015, attendance was 982,305, the fair’s highest 12-day attendance on record

As usual we arrived early, although at the fair there really is no such thing as early, as people are there all night, and visitors start arriving about 6 AM, so when we got there at 9 it was busy but not insanely crowded, yet.

Shortly after arriving, and taking our queue from our recent visit to the Fairgrounds for the car show, we jumped on the Sky Ride for the scenic route to the south entrance. This, as with the car show, gave us a great overview. Since we went over the midway we had a bird’s eye view of the food vendors getting ready for the day.

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Our first stop was an agricultural building where teens from 4H clubs were showing their prize cows. Next door was the dairy showcase, where they have an ice cream stand and a Midwest state fair specialty, butter sculptures. This year’s theme was the National Champion Ohio State Football team and their coach, Urban Meyer.

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Motivated I had a milk shake from the stand, which was quite good. Out back the kids were getting their cows ready for their moment in the spotlight by washing them off, which was an amusing view with the skyline of Columbus, aka Cowtown, in the background. Next door were the swine, including 3 newborn piglets, and one named Marvelous, who weighed 1100 pounds.

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The great thing that I never knew about the fair was the diversity of attractions. After seeing cows and pigs we went to the Janis Center where they had crafts, and a large model train display in the basement. Next door to the Janis Center was the Cox Fine Arts Center. This center featured a gallery quality collection of paintings, sculptures and photography for both amateurs and professionals.

Also on the south end of the fairgrounds is the Ohio Department of Natural Resources area, which includes gardens, shady areas and various outdoor shows. We watched the lumberjack show, followed by a walk through the natural gardens.

Much like the Columbus Arts Festival there was an area raising money for a food bank with art made out of canned food. For the fair that meant a combine and a tractor, impressive indeed.

After wandering the midway checking out all of the unhealthy food options such as Fried Oreo Cookies, Deep Fried Buckeyes, and a stand that would put bacon on anything you could think of, we decided to forego the heart attack for the day and went with a buffet ran by one of the clubs.

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Our first event of the afternoon was one of the highlights, pig races. This carny apparently travels the country with his collection of pigs, where they set up a small track, given the cute names and stage races. While hooky it was fun to watch them.

After watching a few rounds of jousting, with actual horses and riders, in the Taft Coliseum and checking out our second dog skills competition, it was time to go as we were worn out from the walking and hot sun.

While I was expecting the ultimate Walmart crowd, in reality the Ohio State Fair had an interesting collection of activities that filled our day.