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7 Ohio State Fair Icons you don’t want to Miss

The Ohio State Fair is celebrating 164 years of operation THIS year! How amazing is that? Opened in 1850, this much-anticipated annual summer event will kick off this Wednesday, July 26th and will run until August 6th.

My family is excited to attend this summer for the first time!

I’m not the only one into quirky, according to the resource guide, these are also the most Instagram-worthy family photo spots on the fair grounds. So, read the list and grab your camera or smartphone and see how many selfies you can take on your visit.

Have you been to the Ohio State Fair? Here are 7 reasons you should plan to attend.

7 Ohio State Fair Icons you don’t want to Miss

The butter cow at the Ohio State Fair is one of 7 iconic sites that you must see.

  1. The Butter Cow

Yes, you read that correctly. This iconic sculpture has been a must-see for thousands of visitors since its first appearance in 1903. Last year’s cow required over 2,500 pounds of butter and 500 man-hours to complete.

Smokey Bear at the Ohio State Fair is one of 7 iconic sites that you must see.

  1. Smokey Bear

Raising awareness about the threat of forest fires, Smokey Bear made his first fair appearance in 1959 and has greeted guests ever since. Visit Smokey in his 8-acre park complete with a kayak pond, amphitheater, butterfly exhibit, wildlife walk, and free fishing for youth.

  1. OHIO Tree

The OHIO tree was once living on the fair grounds and now creatively preserved for all to see.

The giant Cardinal at the Ohio State Fair is one of 7 iconic attractions you must see and enjoy at the fair.

  1. Giant Cardinal

This giant state bird has graced the front entrance of the fair since 1966. The current fiberglass model replaced a mechanical, wooden, and Paper-Mache style cardinal that had been a fair staple since 1957.

  1. Ag is Cool farm equipment

If you’ve never realized how massive a tractor or combine can be, you’ll get your chance to stand next to these and other farm equipment at the fair.

The Skyglider at the Ohio State Fair is one of 7 iconic attractions you must see and enjoy at the Ohio State Fair.

  1. SkyGlider

A Fair fixture since 1969, this colorful gondola transports guests ½ mile across the grounds for a unique sky view.

The giant yellow slide at the Ohio State Fair is one of 7 iconic attractions you must see and enjoy at the fair.

  1. Giant Slide

This ride may not have made the most-Instagram worthy sites, but as a permanent fixture at the Ohio Expo Center, this slide deserves a mention. Grab a burlap mat, climb the 105- steps to the top and slide 144- feet to the bottom.

7 iconic attractions worth seeing at the Ohio State Fair

Keep an eye on the crowd. In addition to these fun icons, you may catch a glimpse of a familiar face. Strolling entertainers and impersonators can be seen joining the crowds so keep your eyes peeled for Zach Galifianakis, Robert DeNiro or Jack Nicholson.

New at the Ohio State Fair for 2017

New attractions, foods and performers can also be found at the Ohio State Fair for 2017. These include a bit of Hollywood in the Wild About Monkeys Show starring baboons who have appeared in films including “Evan Almighty” and “Rock of Ages,” Velvet Ice Cream’s Cereal & Cream, sweet cereal milk flavored with a honey graham cereal swirl, as the official fair ice cream, deep fried tacos and tatchoes, a tasty tator tot meets nachos concoction sure to please the crowd. Concerts include Alabama, For King and Country, and one of my favorite bands, Rascal Flats. You can view the fair schedule with a full listing of events and attractions at

Read more about things to do in Columbus Ohio

*All photos used in this post were provided to me by the Ohio State Fair.

Disclosure: I was provided parking, tickets to the fair, and some meal tickets in exchange for sharing this information and hosting this giveaway. 

While you’re in Columbus, you may enjoy these attractions:

The Topiary Park in Columbus, Ohio
50 Quirky Things to see in Ohio
Sonesta ES SuiteDublin: a Review

Izy Berry

Thursday 27th of July 2017

That giant slide looks awesome!


Tuesday 25th of July 2017

I look forward to the fair food at the Ohio State Fair! Seems like every year, there's something new to try. So many awesome vendors set up shop there for the week! I especially love the Schmidt's stand and always make a point to pick up a cream puff while I'm there. It's the perfect treat after a long day at the fair! So excited to go this year!

Kyle Martin

Tuesday 25th of July 2017

I love seeing the championship row of animals for the Sale of Champions!


Tuesday 25th of July 2017

Have not been to the Ohio State Fair for over 40 years. I enjoy looking at the exhibits.

Ashley C

Tuesday 25th of July 2017

We go to the state fair every year. My husband Loved the fair and it holds so many memories for him as a child showing animals there. My kids and I do not share his passion for fairs and crowds but we will go with him every year just to share those memories with him. Protection Status
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