The 2012 Ohio State Fair is open for business. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler stopped by for the opening ceremonies.
And with that, General Manager Virgil Strickler opened the 159th Ohio State Fair at the state fairgrounds in Columbus. And that means traditional favorites, such as the midway….
Livestock shows with the most livestock entries ever…..
And of course, the food….
Along with barbecued meats, there are hamburgers in between two Krispy Kreme donuts serving as buns, the roast beef sundae – which is beef topped with mashed potatoes and a cherry tomato, and this year's bacon seems to be a big draw, with deep fried bacon cheddar mashed potatoes on a stick, bacon cinnamon rolls and chocolate covered bacon.
Strickler says the biggest thing that will keep people coming to the fair or away is the weather. Strickler noted that while the farmers at the fair may be hoping for rain, he’s holding out for sunshine.
STRICKLER: “I believe that as long as we have great weather I think we’ll have people come. If we don’t – if we have the heat or if we have rain, I think most people know today that we’ve really done a good job of keeping our buildings air conditioned, a lot of them. A lot of them have fans in them.”
Strickler notes last year the fair logged 830,000 visitors.
STRICKLER: “And we, I’d like to see us get to there and maybe around the 900,000 range this year. I hope we can reach that."
And that would be a record for the shortened fair, right?
STRICKLER: "Amen. Right. We went from a 17-day fair to a 12-day fair and that happened in the year I took over, in 2004.”
The fair closes every night with fireworks and ends on Aug. 5 with a sold-out concert at nearby Crew Stadium.