For 161 years, the Ohio State Fair has been an Ohio tradition, as well as a tradition for many families. People who have been going to the Fair for years may think they know everything there is to know, but there are some “secrets” and little known facts that even the most loyal fairgoer may not realize.
We are going to let you in on 10 of our “secrets:”
- We grow our own plants – The Ohio Expo Center grows all plants and flowers in a greenhouse on-site. Approximately 40,000 plants and flowers have been grown and planted for the 2014 Ohio State Fair!
- The Ohio Expo Center is home to 5 of the top 10 events in Columbus – Though we may not directly run these events, the Expo Center hosts several of Columbus’ top events each year! The Ohio Expo Center is home to more than 150 events each year, which contribute approximately $478 million to the state and local economy.
- The Ohio State Fair is the only Fair with a band and choir – That’s right; many fairgoers’ favorite part of the Ohio State Fair can only be seen here!
- The Fair never sleeps – Throughout the 12 days of the Fair, there is always someone working or getting ready to exhibit livestock on the grounds. There are even two 24-hour vendors, Cox Corral and The Good Food tent by KG Concessions, to serve those working!
- The best place to watch the fireworks is on the SkyGlider – Most people know the Fair has a fireworks display at approximately 9:45 pm each night, but do you know the best places to watch them? While riding the SkyGlider, fairgoers have a great view of the fireworks! Other prime places to watch the fireworks include the east side of the Mountain Dew Midway, north of the Buckeye Sports Center and the lawn of the DiSalle Creative Arts Center presented by Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores.
- The permanent concession stand in Central Park is the oldest building on grounds – Yes, that little food stand in Central Park is older than all other buildings on the grounds!
- The tradition of the butter cow and calf is more than 100 years old – The first butter cow and calf were featured at the Fair in 1903. In 2013, a team of artists worked 543 hours and used 2,000 pounds of butter to create the masterpiece!
- People from every corner of Ohio exhibit at the Fair – Exhibitors from all 88 counties showcase their products at the Fair.
- The Natural Resources Park has multiple secrets:
- Back in the southwest corner of the park is a native tall-grass prairie with multiple species of native wild flowers. It is a hidden gem of the park and spectacular during the Ohio State Fair, as almost all of the flowers are in bloom.
- Each one of the kayaks used in the kayak pond is made out of recycled materials.
- Did you know you can see a butterfly hatch in the butterfly house? ODNR brings in a number of chrysalis which butterflies emerge from during the Fair.
- On opening day, the fish ponds in the park are stocked with 300 catfish and 600 bluegill. Throughout the Fair, the park continues stocking the ponds for a total of 750 catfish and 1225 bluegill.
- The Fair is the only event the Expo Center runs – Other events held at the Ohio Expo Center are organized by various event holders.
Did you know any of our secrets? Pay close attention at the Fair this year and try to notice some of these unique facts! But you only have until Sunday, so head on over to the Ohio State Fair before you have to wait another year!