Tomorrow the 2011 Ohio State Fair begins. There will be some differences this year — for one, beer will be served for the first time in more than 100 years, although apparently only at adult events at one of the concert venues — but the core of the Fair will be the same as it has been for decades.
In the livestock barns, 4-H kids will be showing animals they have raised and fed and tenderly cared for since birth. The poultry pavilion will be a cacophony of cackling and quacking and honking by often-exotic looking fowl. Delicious fresh ice cream and milkshakes will be sold at the dairy building, next to the traditional butter cow and butter calf. Other buildings will house concession stands that hawk garage sale items and curious products you normally see only on TV. On the Midway, there will be vomit-inducing rides and a rich display of tattoos. And everywhere there will be legendary Fair food that ranges from home-cooked meals prepared by church groups to the most absurd fried offerings imaginable.
I love the Fair. I love the animal and vegetable competitions and horse shows and the chance to reconnect with Ohio’s great agricultural heritage. I love the Fair’s timeless quality and old-fashioned feel. And how can you beat the food?
If you’ve never been to the Ohio State Fair, you’re missing something. This year’s edition runs from July 27 to August 7.