Jul 25, 2022 - Food and Drink

It's Ohio State Fair time

A crowd enjoys the Ohio State Fair.
The midway at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. This year's fair opens on Wednesday. Photo: Holly Hildreth/Getty Images

We hear the butter cow mooin' and that can only mean one thing — it's officially Ohio State Fair Week.

Driving the news: The 167th annual smorgasbord of rides, animals, music and deep-fried goodness kicks off Wednesday through Aug. 7.

Why it matters: The fair draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to Central Ohio. This year marks its grand return after being canceled in 2020 and held without the public last year.

What's new: The mystery butter sculpture is unveiled tomorrow. Previous creations include a bald eagle, Darth Vader and, most recently, an astronaut crew to commemorate the Apollo moon landing's 50th anniversary.

  • Other new offerings: A nature-themed, accessible playground, a "Marvelous Mutts" show featuring rescue-dog performers and an oversized papier-mâché contest with mega animal creations.
  • Among the new culinary delights: Alfredo-stuffed turkey legs and Cajun waffle dogs. Our mouths are already watering.

What's back: Country music legend Willie Nelson returns for his 10th fair performance. Check out the full concert schedule.

  • The fine arts exhibit will showcase hundreds of pieces.
  • The famed giant slide — measuring 144 feet long — is one of 60 total rides.

By the numbers:

🍭 150: Food locations that offer 20 different items served on a stick.

🎟️ 934,925: Attendance for the 2019 fair.

🐖 6,857: Classes of competitions, from livestock to gardening and baking.

If you go: 10am-9pm Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm Saturday-Sunday. (Gates close 6pm Aug. 7.)

  • Gate prices: $10 adults, $8 kids 6-12 and seniors. Kids 5 and under free!
  • Rides: $30 all-day wristband.
  • Buy advance tickets online through tomorrow at a discount.
  • Free parking at the lots north of 17th Avenue. On busy days, additional parking is available at Ohio State's St. John Arena with shuttles to and from the fairgrounds.

Pro tip: On "Three-Dollar Thursdays" every food vendor sells specialty items for $3 apiece.

📬 We want to hear from you: Are you headed to the fair this week? What are some of your favorite activities or memories? Email [email protected].

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