Yesterday we went to the Ohio State Fair. The state fair is one of the largest in country and is held every year toward the end of July and the beginning of August at the 360 acre Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. The original Ohio State Fair started in 1850 and today’s fair retains much of the early fairs agricultural roots.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has an 18 acre exhibition at the fair. The exhibition includes displays and information about the geology of Ohio, natural resource usage, camping, park facilities, and many other topics.
Deb got to try her hand at kayaking. After a little instruction, she paddled around a shallow, man-made pond with the rest of her group for 15 minutes. The instructor said the key to paddling a kayak was to turn your torso at each stroke so your abdominal muscles contributed to the stroke.
One of the ODNR exhibitions was demonstration garden that promoted the use of Ohio’s native wildflowers as landscaping flowers. In addition to using less water, many of these flowers also help sustain the local butterfly populations.
In addition to the native, wildflower garden, there was also a butterfly house that featured Monarch butterflies and an aviary with native Ohio birds.
An outdoor amphitheater featured a variety of events. Prior to the demonstration of dogs retrieving decoy ducks from the water, the ODNR staff had to clear out some real ducks from the demonstration area.
We stopped for lunch at a tent run by a local Columbus restaurant – Schmidt’s for their bratwurst and potato salad. We then visited sites featuring civil war re-enactors, textile crafts, Ohio dairy products, and fine arts.
The dairy exhibit featured sculptures made of butter (in a refrigerated enclosure). The displays were sculpted by Bob King, Alex Balz, Paul Brooke, Tammy Buerk, and Erin Swearingen, and the theme was Ohio’s various state symbols. And as always there was a butter cow and butter calf.
The fair runs from July 23 – August 3, 2014. If you go, adult tickets can be purchased for $6 at Krogers, a saving over the normal $10 admission.
- ODNR: Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources at the State Fair
- Ohio State Fair
- Ohio History Central: State Symbols
- Address: 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43211
- GPS Coordinates: 40.0031248,-82.9939213
- Google Maps: View on map or get directions