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Buckeyes maintain strong presence at first full Ohio State Fair in 3 years

Ohio State hosts an array of fair events

Brutus Buckeye and The Ohio State University cheerleaders joined Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted in welcoming visitors to the Ohio State Fair at the July 27 opening ceremony. The 167th fair, which continues through Aug. 7 at the fairgrounds in north Columbus, marks the first time the full array of attractions has been held since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“So much is here. It’s great to have this fair back,” DeWine said before he, Husted, Ohio State Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler and other state officials kicked off the festivities with a ribbon cutting.

To celebrate the fair’s return, Ohio State and university leaders are organizing a variety of events. The College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Science (CFAES) has planned more than 60 activities across the college. Ohio State Extension and 4-H exhibits and competitions will be held throughout the fair. 

“As part of the mission of CFAES, OSU Extension professionals and volunteers deliver 4-H programming, providing opportunities for youth in all 88 Ohio counties,” said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. “CFAES faculty, staff and students also leverage their expert knowledge to support hundreds of competitions and educational opportunities at the Ohio State Fair each year.”

The Dean’s Charity Steer Show will be held on Aug. 2 at 2 p.m., with all proceeds benefiting Ronald McDonald Charities House of Central Ohio.

“This exciting event brings together our community to celebrate agriculture and children, both for our 4-H youth development programs as well as youth benefiting from the Ronald McDonald House,” Kress said. “Every dollar we raise means families can stay together only steps away from their hospitalized child during one of the most stressful times of their lives.”

Young people who participate in 4-H programs have numerous opportunities at this year’s fair to showcase the skills they’ve acquired, DeWine and Husted said.

“It’s not just only about the livestock. A young person can come here with their electronics. They can come here with their photography, their baking, and on and on,” DeWine said. “We know a young lady from our home county who first learned to weld in 4-H and competed here at the Ohio State Fair.”  

“Youth are doing things in their communities with technology and agriculture, and it’s all on display at the state fair,” Husted said. “It is very important that we give our youth hands-on experience. How are they going to know how to do things in their professions, in their academic careers, in life, unless they get to experience it?”

In addition to CFAES, other Ohio State colleges and university programs are also participating in the fair, including the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Physics and WOSU, Ohio State’s educational radio and television station. Events include:

  •  Support for the Ohio Agricultural Council Hall of Fame Breakfast on Aug. 5.
  • Melissa Shivers, senior vice president for Student Life, will greet fairgoers during the Aug. 4 daily parade at 4 p.m.
  • The Ohio State Kindness Committee will host a Mobile Kindness wagon and post “Be Kind” messages on benches throughout the fair.

For more information and a complete list of events, visit OhioStateFair.com.


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