By Melissa Carrick
If it’s your first time at the Ohio State Fair, like it was mine, you may have heard some of the “must-dos” at the Fair. My name is Melissa and I started interning at the Fair earlier this summer; now that it’s here, I have been able to experience these traditions first-hand. Check out the article Eight Exciting Ohio State Fair Traditions to learn more about each tradition. Now that I have experienced almost all of them, I will share the inside scoop with you!
The Butter Cow
The Butter Cow is always one of the first things that come to mind when I hear about tradition at the Ohio State Fair. These sculptures are truly impressive and you wouldn’t be experiencing the Fair right if you didn’t stop by to see them. I was lucky enough to attend the unveiling of the famous butter cow, calf and accompanying sculptures. Although I had many guesses of what they might be leading up to the event, I never would have guessed chocolate milk. Not only was I able to experience this for the first-time, but I also saw the first sculpture that used color (for you curious folks, it was colored using cocoa powder!). What better way to incorporate color into the sculptures than using it to give a salute to chocolate milk?
Smokey Bear has been a favorite among children since 1959. I never had the opportunity to meet him when I was a child, but I have to say it was just as special now. I watched Smokey interact with all of the children and me, addressing everyone by name. Pretty impressive for a bear! Smokey is located in Natural Resources Park, which couldn’t be a more perfect location for families to spend the day.
All-Ohio State Band & Choir
We are the only state fair in the country to have our very own band and choir! There are about 200 members in the band and 178 members in the choir. Both the band and choir stay in dorms at the Fair and practice daily. Walk around the Fair and you’ll be sure to hear the All-Ohio State Band & Youth Choir perform. This is just another way the Ohio State Fair supports youth in all they do. I’ve had the chance to speak with some of the members and they always have a great time wherever they go (even grabbing lunch, like above), and of course they sound great too!
Being from the country, seeing farm animals is nothing new for me, but attending the Ohio State Fair has shown the hard work come full circle. Youth work year round with their livestock and projects to show at county and state fairs. The Ohio State Fair’s greatest tradition is supporting the youth in all that they do. This year I was able to see the new baby calf and 10 baby piglets that were born at the Fair. I’ve also had the opportunity to speak with those who dedicate their lives to livestock. In the poultry barn, Rose and Carl Stough have worked together for 25 years to take care of the chickens at the Fair. Rose celebrated her 80th birthday in the poultry barn and wouldn’t have had it any other way. Rose and Carl are just some of the great people I have met at the Fair who have devoted their life to agriculture.
Schmidt’s of German Village
I’ve talked to people young and old and they all say Schmidt’s is the place to eat at the Fair. They’ve been at the Ohio State Fair for so long that they’ve set the record for the oldest continuous restaurant participating at a state fair in the nation. Known for their Bahama Mama Sausages and jumbo cream puffs, this was a tradition I wanted to be a part of. I ordered the famous cream puff and here are my thoughts: It’s huge, it’s creamy and it’s delicious!
Mascot Butters D. Cow
It’s Butters’ birthday! Butters D. Cow is 15 this year and I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with him over the course of my internship. Butters has quite the personality and loves to dance. I even watched Butters compete against the many mascots of Columbus in the Mascot Dash to raise awareness for organ donors. Although our cow isn’t the fastest, we still think he’s the best. If you see Butters at the Fair be sure to say hello, as he can brighten anyone’s day!