This year we’re continuing our weekly look at unique events and attractions that are within an easy driving distance of Richland County. For the first time in two years, we’re sharing events taking place in-person, although by all means please all ahead and verify what social distancing, masking, etc. We call these Summer Road Trips.
Of course, we regularly feature the many extraordinary places to visit right here in Richland County and encourage our readers to get out and experience what is on offer in our own backyard.
It might just be the ultimate Summer Road Trip each year – and in 2022, it is time to rediscover the Ohio State Fair, a family tradition in Ohio for the last 172 years.
Entertainment everywhere you look. A bustling Midway with 50 exhilarating rides, and an incredible selection of food.
From July 27 through August 7, experience free stages with amazing hypnotists, impressive magicians and wholesome kids’ entertainment. Immerse yourself in activities and exhibits including interactive educational displays, sporting competitions, fine arts show, exotic animals in the free petting zoo, a farm animal delivery room, helicopter rides, roving performers, youth agricultural competitions, horse shows, an eight acre natural resources park with free kiddie fishing, wildlife and so much more.
According to the official Fair history, in 1846, the Ohio Legislature created the 53-member Board of Agriculture. One of the Board’s first acts was to establish a District Fair. The resulting 1847 District Fair at Wilmington and the 1848 District Fair at Xenia were both successful, thus warranting a State Fair.
The first Ohio State Fair was planned for September 1849, but an outbreak of Asiatic cholera forced the cancellation of those plans. The following year, later dates were set to lessen the risk of cholera.
Camp Washington (two miles east of downtown Cincinnati) was the site of the first Ohio State Fair, Oct. 2 – 4, 1850. The site was described as 8 to 10 acres with grass slopes, shade trees and numerous tents. The grounds were enclosed by a 10-foot-high board fence. Cattle were tethered to a railing along the carriage road.
The last non-Columbus edition of the Ohio State Fair took place in Mansfield in 1873.
This year’s major entertainment lineup is as follows:
• July 27: Kidz Bop Live. 6:30 PM. $20
• July 28: Generation Radio. 7 PM. Free
• July 29: Foreigner. 7:30 PM. $40 to $50
July 30: Nelly. 7 PM. $35 to $45
• July 31: All-Ohio State Fair Band and Youth Choir. 1 PM. Free
• July 31: Dru Hill and Raheem DeVaughn. 7:30 PM. $30
• Aug. 1: Zach Williams. 7 PM. $30
• Aug. 2: The Drifters. 1 PM. free
• Aug. 2: Scotty McCreery. 7:30 PM. $30
• Aug. 3: Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias. 7 PM. $45 to $55
• Aug. 4: Ice Cube. 7 p.m., $40 to $50
• Aug. 5: Willie Nelson. 7:30 p.m., $47
• Aug. 6: Lakeside and Con Funk Shun. 7 p.m., $30