COLUMBUS – The 163rd Ohio State Fair is finally here offering new attractions, exhibits, competitions, fair food and shopping opportunities.
Opening day is packed with fun for everyone, and there’s plenty more to come during the 12 days of the 2016 Ohio State Fair.
• Opening Ceremony: Governor John Kasich and General Manager Virgil Strickler will officially open the 163rd Ohio State Fair at a ceremony just inside the Cardinal Gate at 9 a.m.
• Opening Day: Admission is $3 until 3 p.m.
• Survivor honored: Longtime Natural Resources Park performer Bill Foley, celebrating his 34th year performing at the Ohio State Fair this summer, will be honored by Ohio Department of Agriculture Director James Zehringer at the beginning of his 1:30 p.m. performance in the Natural Resources Park Amphitheater. Musician Foley survived a machete attack in February at the Nazareth Restaurant in Columbus and fought through a long recovery to return to performing in central Ohio.
• Boxing: The three-day Columbus Recreation and Park Amateur Boxing Tournament will begin at 6 p.m. in Showplace Pavilion. This historic competition, now in its 49th year, has seen many up-and-coming boxers, including familiar names such as Buster Douglas and Mike Tyson, over the years. The boxing tournament continues today through Saturday, July 30, when the finals will take place from noon until 5 p.m.
• Banana Cream Pie Ice Cream: Ohio’s own Velvet Ice Cream has created this one-of-a-kind frozen confection available only at the Ohio State Fair by starting with creamy banana ice cream, then swirling in meringue and pie crust pieces. This exclusive flavor can be found in the Dairy Products Building (home of the famed butter cow, calf and sculpture), Taste of Ohio Café and Central Park Gazebo.
• Junior Market Lamb Show: The Junior Market Lamb Show kicks off at 8 a.m. in the Brown Sheep Building and concludes at roughly 7 p.m. with the naming of the Grand Champion Market Lamb exhibitor.
• Free live music: Dayton band Mad River Railroad will take Aaron’s Gazebo Stage at noon and 2 p.m. to play a mix of bluegrass, traditional, roots, country, blues and more. Fairgoers can visit the T-Mobile Main Street Stage at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear country music performed by Nashville native Andrew Salgado.
• Concert: Tonight’s concert is one of the world’s most influential, ground-breaking, and respected progressive rock bands, YES. They will take the stage at 7 p.m. in WCOL Celeste Center. YES will be playing the album “Drama” in its entirety, as well as sides 1 and 4 of “Tales from a Topographic Oceans,” and their hits, during an unforgettable two-and-a-half hour performance!
• Strolling Entertainment: Performers will stroll the grounds and entertain fairgoers of all ages. Performers include Rock-It Robot, the Amazing Giants, Chicken Rider and the SupaFun Clown Band.
For more information, call 1-888-OHO-EXPO or 1-614-644-FAIR.
The Ohio Expo Center is proud to host the Ohio State Fair. With a spectacular midway, big-name entertainment, hundreds of exhibits and one of the largest junior fair shows in the nation, the 2016 Ohio State Fair will run July 27 – Aug. 7.