Listed alphabetically; all attractions are free unless otherwise noted
Ag is Cool interactive education stations
10 am – 6 pm (closes at 3 pm on Aug. 7), various locations listed on map
Hands-on stations throughout the Fair allow you to learn about how agriculture impacts your daily life, giving you the opportunity to milk a cow, see baby animals and their mothers, learn the difference between hay and straw, and much more.
Arctic Olympics High Dive Show NEW!
Sunday – Friday: 2 pm, 4:30 pm, 7:30 pm, South end of Mountain Dew Midway
Saturday: 12:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 7:30 pm
Prepare to be thrilled as a team of expert acrobatic divers perform unbelievable feats from an 80’ high diving board into a pool at the south end of the Mountain Dew Midway. Their performance will tell the tale of how several elite penguins are trained for the upcoming Arctic Olympic Games, until things get a little haywire and the penguins (cleverly dressed as humans) decide to instead have fun and frolic on the boards.
10 am – 9 pm, Kiddieland
Every day can be “Hump Day” during the Fair! Camel rides are offered for $5 per ride.
Central Ohio Model Railroad Club Exhibit
10 am – 9 pm, Cardinal Hall, Hall C
Fairgoers of all ages will love the elaborate, functional model railroad exhibit including a special just-for-kids Thomas and Friends section.
11 am – 5 pm, Central Park
Families can play a gigantic version of the classic game featuring “X’s” and “O’s” with oversized letters on a game board painted on the grass in Central Park.
Monster Mural, Central Park
11 am – 5 pm
Kids will jump at the chance to make their artistic mark on a giant Fair mural each day (with washable paint, of course).
Natural Resources Park
9 am – 7:30 pm
Enjoy free fishing for kids, kayaking, archery, a butterfly garden, a watercraft simulator and so much more in this beautiful eight-acre park maintained by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. There are so many things to observe such as native Ohio wildlife, a log cabin, a geological walkway and a tall grass prairie. The outdoor amphitheater hosts free music and entertaining programs, such as the popular lumberjack show, throughout the day.
Ohio Farm Bureau Land & Living Exhibit
10 am – 8 pm, Nationwide Donahey Ag & Hort Building
This highly interactive exhibit is packed with agricultural education activities the whole family can enjoy. Young children will enjoy driving pedal farm tractors, planting corn in a tractor simulator, harvesting wheat in a combine simulator and families can record their State Fair memories with a free photograph before leaving the exhibit.
OSU Phun with Physics
Enjoy radically fun, in-your-face science with cool liquid nitrogen experiments, the Spinning Barf Wheel of Science, rocket launching and more.
OVMA Veterinary Education Center
9 am – 10 pm, Wick Pavilion (closed on Aug. 7)
Witness the miracle of birth and visit new and expectant farm animal mothers and their young at this educational exhibit near the Dairy Products Building. You can even milk a real cow from noon to 4 pm!
4 pm (no parade Aug. 7)
Fair mascot Butters D. Cow will be joined by local celebrities, honorees, costumed characters, entertainers and special guests in this tour through the Fair featuring the All-Ohio State Fair Band presented by Buckeye Health Plan and All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir. The parade begins just north of Natural Resources Park and continues up the WNCI Food Highway, ending just north of 17th Avenue.
Pig Races presented by 99.7 The Blitz
Monday – Friday: 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:30 pm, Kiddieland
Saturday – Sunday: 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm
Three different breeds of swifty swine race around the track for a prize.
10 am – 10 pm (open until 11 pm Friday and Saturday), Kiddieland
The free Petting Zoo features more than 50 animals from around the world including goats, llamas, zebras, antelope, camels, kangaroos and much more.
10 am – 9 pm, Kiddieland
Pony rides are offered for $4 per ride.
Sea Lion Splash NEW!
10 am – 8 pm (Shows at 1 pm, 3 pm, 7 pm), Kiddieland
Watch as these sea lions and their handlers perform amazing tricks in this educational, family-friendly show. When they aren’t performing, the sea lions are blowing bubbles and playing with their toys in the underwater viewing tank.
Help protect our great state from a zombie apocalypse in the new Zombie Acres attraction! Take down the live-action zombies and the zombie models in this exciting paintball course. Zombie Acres is located just south of the T-Mobile Main Street Stage presented by CD102.5.
Listed by date
Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ Unions Great Lakes Apprentice Competition
July 27 – 29, Cardinal Hall Patio
The great Ohio State Fair will be home and host of the 2016 Operative Plasterers’ & Cement Masons’ Unions Great Lakes Apprentice Competition. This exciting event allows the apprentices of their respected trade to come together in this friendly competition to determine the best apprentice.
Columbus All-Breed Dog Agility
July 30 – 31, 11 am, 2 pm, 5 pm, Rhodes Center Lawn
Watch as these local pups strut their stuff with as-seen-on-TV style agility!
Ohio State Beekeepers Association
July 31 – Aug. 7, 9 am – 7 pm, Cardinal Hall Patio
Learn how to start and maintain your own beehive, as well as the importance of bees to our ecosystem, while having fun! Don’t miss the exciting “Beard of Bees” demonstrations (yes, it is exactly what it sounds like!), held at the following times:
- Monday, Aug. 1 – 1 pm, 4 pm
- Friday, Aug. 5 – 1 pm, 4 pm
- Saturday, Aug. 6 – 1 pm, 4 pm
- Sunday, Aug. 7 – 1 pm
50 Year Club meeting
Aug. 1, 8:30 am, Rhodes Center auditorium
Did you attend the Ohio State Fair in 1966 or earlier? If you answered yes, you’re automatically a member of the 50 Year Club! The club’s annual meeting will feature the presentation of the esteemed Giant Step Award and more.
Old Familiar Beard Bash Competition
Aug. 1, 2:30 – 4 pm (Registration: Noon – 2:30 pm), ShowPlace Pavilion
The best beardsmen in the Midwest will gather to show off their fancy follicles in this impressive and wacky hair-raising competition, now in its third year! Participants will compete in categories for natural and freestyle moustaches and beards, and even fake facial hair where absurdity reigns king (or queen)! In addition to the competition, visitors can peruse the moustache-inspired art gallery, enjoy live performances by unshaven entertainers and don a moustache to see how they would look in the Hall of Hirsute photo area.
Ohio’s Best Tattoo Competition
Aug. 1, 5 – 7:30 pm (Registration: Noon – 3:30 pm), ShowPlace Pavilion
See artistic masterpieces showcased on a different kind of canvas – skin – as tattoo artists and enthusiasts compete to be named the best tattoo in the state. Join High Street Tattoo, the Ohio State Fair and the Short North’s most charismatic character, Joey Knuckles, as the event’s emcee.
Joint Legislative Agriculture Committee Meeting
Aug. 2, 10 am, Nationwide Donahey Ag & Hort. Bldg.
Join the Ohio House of Representatives Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and the Ohio Senate Agriculture Committee as the bicameral group showcases the work they’ve accomplished and interact with the public.
Aug. 2, 11:30 am, Central Park
The 20th Annual Pork Rib-Off returns with teams competing to be honored for the best ribs, pulled pork and barbecue sauce in the state. After celebrity judges have sampled the food, fairgoers will be able to enjoy free samples and cast their vote for People’s Choice Award.
Guinness World Record Breaking Ice Cream Eating Contest
Aug. 3, 11:30 am (Registration opens at 10:30 am), Outside the Cox Fine Arts Center
Fairgoers ages 16 and up are invited to be among the roughly 250 people that will help the Ohio State Fair and Velvet Ice Cream set the world record for largest ice cream eating contest. Join us for free ice cream, lots of fun and your chance to set a world record!
Backyard Conservation & Gardening
Aug. 4, 10 am – 6 pm, ShowPlace Pavilion
Enjoy fun activities for kids, and obtain educational materials for adults, including information on the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District’s new Rain Barrel, Compost Bin and Native Plant rebate program.
Zumba Hip-Hop Fitness Extravaganza
Aug. 5, 7 – 9 pm, ShowPlace Pavilion
This exciting two-hour fitness event will give fairgoers the opportunity to try out Zumba for free, burning major calories while dancing to the latest Latin, R&B, hip-hop and pop music. Stick around after the fitness fun for social time with dancing and music.
Steel Drum Band Day
Aug. 5, 10 am – 4:30 pm, ShowPlace Pavilion
The Ohio State Fair’s first-ever Steel Drum Band Day will feature live performances from middle school, high school and college bands from across Ohio.
Ohio Lottery Fan Appreciation Day
Aug. 6, Central Park
Meet the co-host of the TV game show for your chance to win cash and prizes. Get there early – registration for your chance to play starts at 11 am.
Sunburst Beauty Pageant
Aug. 6, Noon – 4 pm (Registration: 11 am – Noon), Martin Janis 50+ Center
Contestants from children under age one up to 27 years old are invited to participate in this annual pageant judged based on beauty and personality. Registration for interested participants begins at noon.
Dance Arts by Habeeba
Aug. 6, Noon – 7 pm, ShowPlace Pavilion
Activities throughout the day will be focused on different dance genres including tap, Italian, folk, line dance, Native American, Latin, belly dancing, clogging and more. Enjoy watching the different dance styles, and beautiful, intricate costumes – then try your hand at learning a step or two!