via The Ohio State Fair

Your Guide To The Ohio State Fair 2018

It’s finally that time of the summer! The Ohio State Fair will take place from July 25 until August 5. Get out to the Ohio Expo Center and Fairgrounds and eat a deep-fried Oreo or two!

The Ohio State Fair has been a tradition in this state since 1850. It has been held in 10 different cities across Ohio including Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Sandusky, Zanesville, Dayton, Newark, Toledo, Springfield, and Mansfield. But the fair has been on the site of the Ohio Expo Center since 1886.

via the Ohio State Fair. Click here for an interactive map.

General admission into the Ohio State Fair is $10 for adults ages 13 to 59. $8 for seniors ages 60-years-old and above. Children ages 5 to 12 are also $8, but kids under 5-years-old get in for

The hours of operation for the Ohio State Fair are:

  • Admission gates open: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Commercial exhibit buildings: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Youth Center: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Janis Center: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Other exhibit buildings: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Rides: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. (open until midnight Fridays and Saturdays)
  • Many of these hours will change on August 5, the final day of the fair. Click here for more information about the Ohio State Fair hours.


    Parking is $5 per vehicle. You can find easy access to parking lots from I-71 at the 17th Avenue exit and the Hudson Street exit at Silver Drive. Catch a ride on one of the complimentary shuttles to and from the main entrance gate and the parking lots.

    If you always struggle to find your parked car in a crowded parking lot, you can use the Ohio State Fair’s Parking Pin. Just drop a pin where you’ve parked your car and click “save my parking spot.” Then after a long and fun day at the fair, open the webpage again and click “Find My Car.” The fair and Google Maps will help take you right to it. Easy-peasy.

    Things To Do

    There is so much to do at the Ohio State Fair from chatting with Smokey the Bear to checking out the Butter Cow, and of course riding the rides until you’re so dizzy you need to take a minute to sit down. The fair also gets in some amazing musical acts and big-name artists. No matter what you’re into, you’ll find something that’ll keep you happy and entertained.


    via The Ohio State Fair

    If you didn’t go on the Ferris Wheel at the Ohio State Fair, did you even go to the fair? Rides are open from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. To get on a ride, you’re going to need ride tickets at $1 per ticket. Kiddie rides require one ticket, super kiddie and spectacular rides require two tickets, and super spectacular rides require three tickets. If you know that you’re going to be riding rides all-day long, it’s probably best to get a ride-all-day wristband for $25.


    via The Ohio State Fair

    The Ohio State Fair brings in a ton of super talented musical artists to Columbus. It’s the perfect opportunity to see on of your favorite stars jam out at an awesome concert. Here’s where you can get tickets once you’ve looked at the amazing line up below.

    The Beach Boys

    Wed., July 25, 2018, 7 pm

    Reba McEntire

    Thurs., July 26, 2018, 7 pm
    $55, $65

    TLC / En Vogue

    Fri., July 27, 2018, 7 pm
    $30, $25

    The Commodores

    Sat., July 28, 2018, 7 pm

    Trevor Noah

    Sun., July 29, 2018, 7:30 pm

    All-Ohio State Fair Band & Youth Choir Concert

    Sun., July 29, 2018, 1 pm
    Free (no tickets required)

    Casting Crowns

    Mon., July 30, 2018, 7 pm

    The Rat Pack is Back

    Tues., July 31, 2018, 12:30 pm
    Free (no tickets required)

    KIDZ BOP LIVE 2018

    Tues., July 31, 2018, 6:30 pm

    Brothers Osborne

    Wed., August 1, 2018, 7 pm
    $25, $35

    Jeff Dunham

    Thurs., August 2, 2018, 7 pm

    Lee Brice

    Friday, August 3, 2018, 7 pm

    Styx / Cheap Trick

    Sat., August 4, 2018, 7 pm
    $35, $45


    Ag is Cool interactive education stations

    via The Ohio State Fair

    What: Learn how agriculture impacts your day-to-day life. See what it’s like to be a farmer and take a turn milking a cow, see baby animals and their mommas, learn the difference between hay and straw.
    When: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Where: various locations listed on map

    Budweiser Clydesdales

    What: The Budweiser Clydesdales have been representing Anheuser-Busch for over 85 years. Their introduction celebrated the end of prohibition for beer and they’ve been pleasing crowds ever since. Stop by and see them for yourself at the Ohio State Fair.
    When: 9 a.m to 9 p.m.
    Where: Cardinal Plaza

    Camel Rides

    via The Ohio State Fair

    What: Pay $5 to ride a camel and pretend you’re exploring a far-off land.
    When: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Where: Meijer Kiddieland

    Central Ohio Model Railroad Club Exhibit

    What: Train lovers and fairgoers alike will love this model railroad exhibit. Kiddos will especially like the Thomas the Train and Friends section.
    When: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Where: Cardinal Hall, Hall C

    Jumbo Tic-Tac-Toe

    via The Ohio State Fair

    What: Families can test their skills and see who’s the family tic-tac-toe champion with these giant Xs and Os.
    When: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Where: Central Park

    The Marvelous Mutts

    What: A team of rescue dogs and their owners/trainers will be performing awesome feats at this pup show. The “Canine Splashtacular” combines Frisbee, agility racing, and dock diving in this family-friendly show.
    When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., shows at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.

    Monster Mural, Central Park

    via The Ohio State Fair

    What: Little ones can show off their inner Picasso with some washable paints at this massive mural.
    When: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Where: Central Park

    Ohio Farm Bureau Land & Living Exhibit

    What: Learn about life on the farm in ways that are fun for the whole family. Little kids can take a turn on the pedal tractors and do various farm chores via simulators.
    When: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    Where: Nationwide Donahey Ag & Hort Building

    The ODNR Natural Resources Park

    via The Ohio State Fair

    What: Kids can fish, kayak, practice archery, walk through a butterfly garden, and more for free in the ODNR Natural Resource Park. Visit the outdoor amphitheater to watch the lumberjack show for free.
    When: 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
    Where: Natural Resources Park

    OVMA Veterinary Education Center

    What: Watch the miracle of birth as mommy animals welcome their little babies. Milk a cow from noon until 4 p.m.
    When: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
    Where: Wick Pavilion

    The Parade

    via The Ohio State Fair

    What: The fair’s mascot Butters D. Cow will lead the parade full of local celebs, honorees, familiar characters, entertainers, and special guests. All-Ohio State Fair Band and the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir will provide the parade’s music.
    When: 4:00 p.m.
    Where: The parade by the Natural Resources Park, goes up the WNCI Food Highway, and ends just north of 17th Avenue.

    Pig Races presented by 99.7 The Blitz

    What: Three different types of prize piggies will race to the finish line around a track.
    When: Monday – Friday: 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, and 6:30 pm
    Saturday – Sunday: 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm, and 7:30 pm
    Where: Meijer Kiddieland

    Petting Zoo

    via The Ohio State Fair

    What: Visit with over 50 different types of animals like goats, llamas, zebras, antelope, camels, kangaroos and many more. It’s free!
    When: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; open until 11 pm Friday and Saturday
    Where: Meijer Kiddieland

    Pony Rides

    What: Just $4 will get you a ride on a cute-as-can-be pony.
    When: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Where: Meijer Kiddieland


    via The Ohio State Fair

    The Ohio State Fair has roughly 300 commercial exhibitors so even if you’re just planning to window shop, make sure to have a little cash. Something’s bound to catch your eye. The three places to enjoy retail therapy are the MarketPlace, Shoppes at North Commercial, and the Antiques and Collectibles Building. Shoppers can find everything from kitchenware to antique collectables and autographed merchandise.

    The Food

    via The Ohio State Fair

    The WNCI Food Highway is just under the SkyGlider. It’s the place you need to go when you’ve got a hankering for fair-food classics like deep-fried treats.

    Visit the MarketPlace to cool off in the AC and sample a variety of items at the international food court, including authentic Mexican, Polish, Greek, Chinese, American, and Italian cuisine.

    Tickets for the Ohio State Fair are onsale now. For more information, please visit Happy Fair-going people!

    via GIPHY

      A daily Columbus email you'll actually love.

      Every morning we compile the best of Columbus news & events and deliver it in a quick 5 minute read that sets you up with everything you need to be a well informed Columbusian. Columbusite. Cbussian? Whatever, give it a try, you'll love it.

      You have Successfully Subscribed!