My name is Rachel and I am a seasonal intern at the Ohio State Fair! I’m here to tell you about my experience as a Coloradoan at the Fair. I am currently a student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, but before college I lived in Colorado with my family. That being said, this is my first Ohio State Fair – but it definitely won’t be my last! I hope to make the Fair a long-lasting tradition, just as many other Ohioans have since 1850.
Before becoming an intern at the Fair, I didn’t really know what to expect. When I told my Ohio friends about my job, almost every single reaction including the words, “The Ohio State Fair is a huge deal.” And they were completely right. With nearly one million guests attending each year, 195 food vendors, more than 29,000 entries into 6,708 classes of competitions and so much more, this Fair is classic midwestern tradition. As soon as I stepped on the grounds of the Ohio Expo Center in mid May of this year, I knew I was about to embark on a very special journey.
During my time here, I’ve realized that the Ohio State Fair is so much more than just your average state fair. This event draws visitors from all over the country (like me!). I’ve met people who have attended the Ohio State Fair for more than 70 consecutive years without missing. Some families have come here for generations, passing the tradition on to their children and grandchildren. I’ve heard countless stories of people finding their significant others at the Fair. Who knew love could be found in a poultry barn?
I’ve interviewed 4-H students who have spent countless hours preparing to show their animals at the Fair. My heart has felt so full as I watched young children guide their animals that they have worked so hard to bring to the Fair. I’ve listened to the sounds of the All-Ohio State Fair Band and Youth Choir and am reminded of the immense amount of hard work and dedication that is put into their countless performances during the Fair.
I’ve talked to vendors who proudly bring their families to feed thousands of visitors every day of the Fair. I’ve witnessed every deep-fried food you can imagine. I have been kindly served by real Ohio farmers in the Taste of Ohio Cafe. I’ve watched families taste ice cream in the Dairy Products Building while affectionately looking at the famed Butter Cow.
The Ohio State Fair is not just a Fair. It’s a tradition that can be enjoyed by people from all backgrounds – even people like me from across the country.