I managed to head up to Columbus this year to have a taste of the Ohio State Fair in Columbus for the first time since I was about 4 years old. I never did fairs growing up, but I did manage to visit the Athens County Fair in 2010 and the Wood County Fair near Toledo in 2011, but no one bothered to tell me how immensely epic the state fair just happens to be. Seriously, I loved the other fairs, but this one really does feel like a statewide event in that it could easily house all the other fairgrounds combined. It goes without saying, but food was a-plenty.
In fact, the fair had just about every kind of food imaginable. From butter cows…
… to chocolate pigs.
That wasn’t the kind of thing you could eat, unfortunately, but there were plenty of alternatives. Wandering around I spotted a beef brisket sundae, fried sliders, bacon cinnamon rolls, and “Muddy Pigs” which are … fried bacon. No seriously. Someone was making that. I didn’t manage to get any, but that was fine. I was busy watching the model trains and the Civil War camp, because those things are interesting to me.
I tried to go through the immense line to ride the Ferris wheel and the giant slide but got distracted by the legendary “Candies of Yesteryear” which featured about 1,000 candies you just can’t find anywhere else. Remember Warheads? Remember Necco Wafers? They were available to buy, alongside blue gummy bears, every kind of fudge and more taffy than I’d ever like to see again.
I was happy to see some familiar faces around, though. Schmidt’s Sausage Haus maintains a few tents around the grounds every year, as were Roger’s Honey, Heavenly Dips and Ben’s Mustard, where I could replenish my direly depleted stocks of each. There were about a hundred other little local food places to try, but alas there was no time.
Such a massive undertaking, and with so many cool things to do, so much crazy fair food and so many interesting people to meet. I walked around until my feet were tired and I still feel like I only scratched the surface. Despite growing up in relatively rural communities in Cincinnati and Dayton, I never really spent a lot of time at the local fair. The past few years have convinced me that it should be on everyone’s bucket list to stop by a good fair some time in life.
But for me, I’m a simple guy, and as for the best food at the fair, there was one clear winner.