Ohio State Fair opening day events and deals

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Less than 24-hours until opening day of the Ohio State Fair. The state fairgrounds has been turned into what will be “The Most Happiest Place In Ohio” for the next 12 days.

John Vivona is known as “the man with the giant slide.”

“We are from South Carolina and we travel all over the eastern coast, but this is one of our favorite fairs to come to,” said Vivona.

For over 20 years his family has been providing the rides here at the fair.  With over 70 rides this year a fair favorite is back, ready for kids and adults of all ages, the giant slide.

“I’ve got customers that come every year. I have one lady that comes every year. I have one lady that rides it at least 10 times in a row,” said Vivona.

“There is just so much that goes on to make the fair happen,” said fair spokesperson, Alicia Shoults. “There’s a lot of wheels that need to work together with arrivals and cleaning and getting everything ready. We are a well-oiled machine and ready to open tomorrow.”

The deep fried fair foods are back, but this year fair-goers get to enjoy the official Ohio State Fair ice cream, Honey Grahams Cereal and Milk.

“So far there are rave reviews,” said Jenny Hubble with the American Dairy Association. “It has a sweet taste. I’ve heard a lot of comments from folks saying it is delicious.”

The fair runs until August 6.

Here are some of the opening day highlights:

Opening day admission is $3 until 3pm.

New Attraction:

Make your way to Meijer Kiddieland to experience Wild About Monkeys. This show stars baboons that have appeared in films including “Evan Almighty” and “Rock of Ages.” There will be shows every day at 1 pm, 3 pm and 7 pm.


The junior western showmanship horse and pony show will begin at 9 am in the Cooper Arena. The junior horse show western horsemanship will also be taking place at 8 am in the Denny Hales Arena. The junior hunter under saddle will take place at 8 am in the JD Equipment Taft Coliseum followed by the junior draft showmanship at 4 pm.

Hometown Sounds and Craft Beer Fest:

The 2017 Ohio State Fair Concert Series will be opening with Hometown Sounds featuring McGuffey Lane, Erica Blinn and Colin Gawel & The League Bowlers. The show will begin at 7 pm and admission is free. Fairgoers can visit the WCOL Celeste Center prior to the show from 4 pm to 9 pm to enjoy craft beers from 12 breweries across the state of Ohio including Black Cloister, Columbus Brewing Co., Great Lakes, Fat Head’s, Jackie O’s, MadTree, Maumee Bay, Four Sting Brewing, Rhinegeist, Warped Wing, Yellow Springs and Little Fish Brewing. The event will take place immediately prior to the free concert. Tasting tickets must be purchased.

Live Entertainment:

The Drew Allen Duo will be performing a free concert at noon and 2 pm at the Gazebo Stage to play a variety of blues, pop and country tunes. At the Main Street Stage, Brass Tracks Band will be performing a free concert with 70s and 80s horn music at 5 pm and 7:30 pm.

Ohio State Fair Food Finder:

There is now an easier way to find foods, merchandise and more at the Fair! The Fair’s previous Food Finder app has been seamlessly integrated into the Fair’s website. Fairgoers can search any food or shopping item using our mobile and desktop friendly website. Find food and merchandise at your fingertips using the food finder, interactive map and more. Visit ohiostatefair.com for more information.

Cereal & Milk Ice Cream:

Try the official Fair ice cream, Cereal & Milk, presented by Velvet Ice Cream. This new flavor has a sweet cereal & milk taste with a honey-graham cereal swirl. Fairgoers can try the exclusive flavors at the Dairy Products Building, the Taste of Ohio Café or the Central Park Gazebo concession stand.

Strolling Entertainment:

There will be plenty of new strolling performers at the Fair this year including T. Texas Terry, Totally Twisted Balloon Design, Groovy Guy Show and more.

For a complete daily schedule, visit ohiostatefair.com/events.

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