The Roth family of Cincinnati has been attending the Ohio State Fair since they were young children. Molly Seamon, John Roth, Peggy Sullivan, Andy Roth, Jody Crane and Jerry Roth are all siblings and visit the Ohio State Fair each year as a family reunion.
“Our father started the tradition I think as a way to enjoy family,” said Peggy Sullivan. She remembers starting the tradition in the 1960s and arriving early enough on opening day to see the ribbon cutting ceremony.
For the past several years, at least one member of the Roth family has submitted an entry to one of the many competitions at the Fair. They have had entries in the Youth Arts, Ag & Hort, and the Arts and Crafts competitions. The Roth’s patriarch, Jack, started the tradition of entering competitions at the Fair many years ago in the Ag & Hort building.
“We excitedly visit with anticipation of winning a ribbon which we have on many occasion,” said Sullivan of her family’s experiences at the Fair’s competitions.
Since the family’s long-standing Fair tradition has now become an opportunity for the family members to all spend time together, the Roths make sure to plan their annual trip together early on. The family usually picks a Friday and Saturday to travel to the Fair together.
“We have passed the tradition on to the next generation and they seem to enjoy the Fair,” Sullivan said. The sibling’s children have been attending the Fair alongside their family members for many years and have begun submitting entries to the Fair’s competitions and exhibits.
“The Ohio State Fair becomes our family reunion,” said Jack Crane, a son of Jody Crane and grandson of Jack. The 12-year-old has been attending the Fair for his entire life and has participated in many Youth Arts Competitions. In 2014, his artwork “Plumbing House Across the Street” took best of show. He has received numerous recognitions for his artworks since 2011. In 2018, he hopes to be selected as a member of the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir.
“We are looking forward to coming again to the Fair to see art, animals and all of the attractions,” Jack said of the 2017 Fair.
While the family members have a variety of different interests at the Fair, they share some favorite memories and traditions. Sullivan fondly remembers seeing the Grandstand Shows with her siblings and riding the Giant Slide. The family always visits the Butter Cow in the Dairy Products Building.
“Traditions – I would say that is the main reason we return year after year. We just feel like [the Fair] is a piece of Americana. It’s a celebration of all things summer,” said Sullivan.