Monday, July 18, 2011
Ohio State Fair
One of the largest state fairs in the country happens in my home state of Ohio. The Ohio State Fair was created in 1845 by the General Assembly of Ohio but the first fair did not take place until 1850 and was held in Cincinnati. In the 1850s there were few good roads to travel and getting there often took days. The fair itself was only two days long.
Over the next several decades, the Oho State Exposition as it was called was held in various cities throughout the state. Eventually, the city of Columbus hosted the fair with a contract to do so for five years. Everyone enjoyed the central location so much that it became the permanent home for the annual fair.
In the early days, the fair focused on agriculture but in 1896, organizers included entertainment. Also that year, electricity was first used to light the fair, the first fair in the nation to do so.
Each year there is a life-sized cow made from butter. I didn't realize the custom dated all the way back to 1903.
Except for a few years during the war, the Ohio State Fair has been an annual event. This year the fair runs July 27 through August 7. For information see the Ohio State Fair website.