Phone App And Beer Are New Amenities At The Ohio State Fair

If the heat index is near the triple digits, it must be time for the Ohio State Fair. The 158th Fair opens on Wednesday at the state fairgrounds in Columbus. General manager Virgil Strickler told Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler that while the fair celebrates the industry Ohio was founded on - agriculture - he says the event is embracing modern technology, with a new food finder app.

“You’ll be able to find out where your favorite apple dumplings or your French fries that you want so bad,” Strickler said.

“Deep fried buckeyes… and deep fried Kool Aid. We are going to have deep fried Kool Aid this year. We didn’t think we were, but we ultimately were able to pull that off. That’s the newest craze of the fair industry.”

Many say there's nothing like a cold beer on a hot day, and this year’s fair will oblige for the first time. Ohio-made beer and wine will be sold, at the Celeste Center during concerts and at the Taste of Ohio Café.

Strickler says this has been a long time coming.

“I think it’s where we’re at with our state,” he said. “We need to help all businesses. So I believe that it’s taken this long and maybe it’s come at the right time to make sure we’re out there and helping all the businesses that are out there.”

The fair will close each night with fireworks, but one nighttime tradition likely won't be continued - Gov. John Kasich has said he won't spend the night at the fair, as the last four governors have done. The Ohio State Fair runs July 27 through August 7.

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