2018 Information

Daily attractions
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. 5; the OVMA Veterinary Education Pavilion is closed Aug. 5), 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.

Budweiser Clydesdales NEW!
9 am – 9 pm, Cardinal Plaza
The Budweiser Clydesdales have been the symbol of Anheuser-Busch for more than 85 years.  They were formally introduced on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the repeal of prohibition for beer.  The Clydesdales hitches travel thousands of miles each year, and with each mile they cover, so continues the Anheuser-Busch tradition.

Camel Rides
10 am – 9 pm, Meijer 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 (Closes at 6 pm on Aug. 5), 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.

Jumbo Tic-Tac-Toe
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.

Local Matters NEW!
10 am – 4 pm, Lausche Youth Center
Do your kids like delicious food? Free activities? Local Matters’ hands-on food and growing sessions create learning opportunities for kids of all ages! You will learn how to grow healthy foods, what healthy foods do for our bodies, and how the healthful choice can be the delicious choice! Whether you’re getting hands dirty planting seeds or helping to prepare a delicious, healthful snack, you will learn that healthy eating is not only good for your body, but tons of fun. Stop by and taste different whole foods that keep you minds and bodies strong and full of energy – perfect to fuel your fun at the fair all day long!

The Marvelous Mutts NEW!
10 am – 8 pm (Shows at 1 pm, 3 pm, 7 pm), Kiddieland
A team of rescue dogs and their loving owners and trainers flip, race, fly, splash and wow in this “awwww”-inspiring show. Their “Canine Splashtcular” combines the three most exciting dog sports – Frisbee, agility racing and dock diving – into one action-packed, family-friendly show.

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 house, a watercraft simulator and so much more in this beautiful eight-acre park maintained by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Enjoy native Ohio wildlife, a geological walkway, a camping village and a tall grass prairie. The outdoor amphitheater hosts free music and entertaining programs, such as the popular lumberjack show, throughout each day of the State Fair.

The Nerveless Nocks All American Stunt & Thrill 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, South end of Mountain Dew Midway
Generations of daredevils thrill audiences with unbelievable feats: climbing hand-over-hand to the top of sway poles, exchanging from pole to pole and free falling, headfirst, back to the ground; taking a motorcycle for a spin in the giant 17-foot steel Globe of Fear; and performing stunts on the revolving Wheel of Steel aerial pendulum.

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, shopping in an interactive grocery store and families, can record their State Fair memories with a free photograph before leaving the exhibit.

Ohio’s WWI Centennial Commemoration Booth
9 am – 9 pm (closes at 6 pm on Aug. 5), Cardinal Hall C
See the contributions of Ohio in the Great War at this exhibit presented by the Ohio History Connection. Artifacts, stories, photos and activities will be shared by different county organizations from around the state, reflecting their communities influence in WWI. Expect a different experience every day of the State Fair!

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. 5)
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. 5)
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, Meijer 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.

Petting Zoo
10 am – 10 pm (open until 11 pm Friday and Saturday), Meijer Kiddieland
The free Petting Zoo features more than 50 animals from around the world including goats, llamas, zebras, antelope, camels, kangaroos and much more.

Pony Rides
10 am – 9 pm, Meijer Kiddieland
Pony rides are offered for $4 per ride.

Limited-time attractions – 2018

Listed by date

Operative Plasterers’ & Cement Masons’ Unions Great Lakes Apprentice Competition
July 25 – 27, Cardinal Patio
The great Ohio State Fair will host the 2018 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.

WOSU Kids Day
July 26, 10 am – 3 pm, Central Park
Join WOSU Public Media from 10 am – 3 pm in Central Park for a chance to meet your favorite PBS KIDS® characters including Daniel Tiger, Katerina Kittycat, Super Why, Nature Cat and more! Enjoy family-friendly activities and check out a live radio broadcast.

4-H Spelling Bee
July 28, 9 am – 11 am, 1 pm – 3 pm, Martin Janis 50+ Center
Ohio Students will spell their way to the top at the Ohio State Fair 4-H Spelling Bee! Participating schools may recommend two students in each grade level, third through sixth (for the 2017-2018 academic year). The competition is open to both 4-H and non 4-H members.

Columbus All-Breed Dog Agility
July 29 – 30, 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 29 – Aug. 5, 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:

  • Sunday, July 29, 1:30 pm
  • Monday, July 30, 1 pm
  • Friday, August 3: 1 pm
  • Saturday, August 4: 1 pm

Zumba Hip-Hop Fitness Extravaganza
July 28, 7 – 9 pm (registration from 6 – 7 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.

WWI Centennial Commemoration Encampment
June 29, 9 am – 8 pm, Cardinal Hall Lawn
On this special day of appreciation for veterans and military, reenactors will portray an encampment of American WWI soldiers outside Cardinal Hall. Reenactors will engage fairgoers with period equipment, uniforms and stories of Ohio’s soldiers.

Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Competition
July 29, 9 am – 8:30 pm, Cardinal Hall A
Ohio’s young talented inventors and entrepreneurs from kindergarten through eighth grade will have the opportunity to be recognized and awarded with educational scholarships and prizes.

50 Year Club Meeting
July 30, 8:30 am, Rhodes Center Auditorium
Did you attend the Ohio State Fair in 1967 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
July 30, 2 – 3:30 pm (registration from Noon – 2 pm), ShowPlace Pavilion
The most mustachioed and 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 mustaches, partial beards, full beards and even fake facial hair where absurdity reigns king (or queen)! In addition to the competition, visitors can peruse the mustache inspired art gallery, enjoy live performances by unshaven entertainers, and don a mustache to see how they would look in the Hall of Hirsute photo area.

Ohio’s Best Tattoo Competition
July 30, 4 – 6:30 pm (registration from Noon – 2 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 in the state. Registration begins at Noon for interested participants.

Joint Legislative Agriculture Committee Meeting
July 31, 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.

Pork Rib-Off
July 31, 11:30 am, Central Park
The 22nd 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.

Sunburst Beauty Pageant
Aug. 4, Noon – 4 pm (registration 11 am – Noon), Martin Janis 50+ Center
Contestants from children under age one to 27 years old are invited to participate in this annual pageant judged based on beauty and personality.

Ohio Lottery Cash Explosion Cash Fest
Aug. 4, 10 am – 7 pm, Central Park
Meet the co-host of the Ohio Lottery TV game show for your chance to win cash and prizes! Get there early – registration for your chance to play starts at 11 am.