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Ohio State Fair

Ohio Expo Center & State Fair 717 East 17th Avenue Columbus, OH 43211

Jul 29 2020 - Aug 09 2020

Price: $10-$30

Rent an RV

If you're a fan of wholesome family fun, the Ohio State Fair is a fantastic experience. Originally created as a three-day, Cincinnati-based event in 1850, the Ohio State Fair quickly evolved into a major cultural happening for people all across the tri-state area and beyond. Having moved to many major cities within the Buckeye State, the fair now calls Columbus its home on a more permanent basis. The festival is filled to the brim with entertainment ranging from carnival games to live music and more. If you'd like to take a trip out to the Ohio State Fair this year, why not rent an RV from RVshare to enhance the experience? The fairground offers accommodations to RVers.

ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT

It wouldn't be much of an event if the Ohio State Fair didn't have a ton to offer guests when they arrive. From the moment you walk through the gate, you'll be greeted by plenty of attractions and food vendors. Classic carnival rides like drop towers, Ferris wheels, giant slides and more are there almost every year. Bands like REO Speedwagon, Foghat and more have all held concerts at the fair. If you're hungry, snag some of your delicious festival food favorites like pizza, funnel cake and more at any of the numerous concessions stands around the fairgrounds. Some vendors have gluten-free options, too. If you like animals, enjoy the camel rides or meet and greet with the Budweiser Clydesdales.

LOCATION

For 2020, the Ohio State Fair will be held July 29 to August 9. The Ohio State Fair is always held at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds. Here is the full address:

Ohio Expo Center & State Fair

717 East 17th Avenue

Columbus, OH 43211

RVING AT THE EVENT

The Ohio State Fair has many fun opportunities for RV campers on its grounds. Starting from early May, you'll be able to reserve up to two spots at either the north, east or west camping lots for $50 per night. Reservations can be made either online or by phone between July 15 and August 4, with checkout being at exactly noon on August 5 at the latest. This means that you'll only be able to RV at the fairgrounds for a portion of the entire 12 days the fair takes place. While reservations fill up quickly each year, there are hundreds of potential spots available to make it less likely you'll miss out. Just be sure you don't wait until the last minute.

WHERE TO STAY

Even if you don't wish to camp out next to the Ohio State Fair, you don't have to give up your chance to come for a visit. There are plenty of places to stay all over Columbus.

• Hotels: As a major city, Columbus is home to dozens of great hotels. Hilton, Hyatt, Best Western, Red Roof Inn and more all have locations in the city. Additionally, since many Ohio State Fair visitors are locals or those traveling only a short distance for the day, booking rooms is unlikely to be difficult.

• Bed-and-breakfasts: Given the more informal nature of the Ohio State Fair, it's only fitting that your lodging is not too uptight. Bed-and-breakfasts, especially those involving renting out another person's home, are an easy and affordable way to stay somewhere on your vacation. This can be an especially attractive option if you only plan to stay a day or two for the fair, giving you a wonderful experience at a fraction of the cost of a hotel room.

HOW TO GET THERE

If it's your first time making it out to the Ohio State Fair, getting there might be an issue. Luckily, all you need to do is follow some simple directions to get you where you need to go.

• From the north: Travel along I-71 South before getting off on 17th Avenue (Exit 111). From there, it's just a short drive to the fairgrounds, at which point you'll be directed to parking by attendants.

• From the south: Starting from I-71 North, get off on 17th Avenue. Continue down the road until the fairgrounds come into view, at which point you'll be directed to available parking by attendants.

• From the east: Get on I-70 West before switching to I-71 North. Take I-71 North to 17th Avenue and keep going until you make it to the fairgrounds.

• From the west: Get on I-70 East before merging onto I-71 North. Take I-71 North to 17th Avenue, and then follow the road to the fairgrounds. 

• Campground north entrance: Coming from the north, take I-71 S and get off on Exit 112, otherwise known as Hudson Street. Hang a right off Hudson before turning left on Summit Street. Turn left again when you get to 17th Avenue, and then keep going until you find Gate 11 of the Ohio Expo Center campgrounds.

• Campground south entrance: Get off I-71 N on Exit 110, called 11th Avenue. Take a left after that and keep going past all the gates until you make it to Fourth Street. Turn right on Fourth Street, and then go right again to get to 17th Avenue. After that, keep driving until you make it to Gate 11.

PARKING

Parking is fairly easy to find when you visit the Ohio State Fair, especially with the handy navigation feature on the fair's website. The first parking area you should be aware of is by the north gate, which is located alongside the three RV campgrounds. From there, you can simply traverse the perimeter of the fairgrounds to find additional parking. Spaces are typically available near each of the gates leading to the venue. Be aware that parking costs $5 for all vehicles.

If you're planning to camp at the fairgrounds, simply follow the directions to make it to Gate 11 and navigate your way to your reserved space with the assistance of the fairgrounds staff.

Additionally, if you happen to end up at one of the parking areas farthest from the fairgrounds, you'll be able to ride the AAA courtesy shuttles to the main gate as they complete their circuit around the parking lots.

TICKETS & PRICING

Buying tickets to the Ohio State Fair is easier than ever now that online ticket purchases have been implemented. Ticketmaster is the service of choice for getting tickets. You'll be able to choose between a digital ticket or a physical one mailed to you ahead of the fair for a small fee. You can also buy tickets in person at stores like Kroger and AAA.

General admissions tickets cost $10 per day, and each person requires a new ticket for each day at the fair. For both seniors (60 and older) and children (6 to 12), ticket prices are reduced to only $8 while 5-year-olds and younger get in for free. Additionally, purchasing your tickets early gives you a flat rate of $7 for everyone. Be aware that you'll be allowed to reenter the fair after leaving only if you have a hand stamp.

Finally, there are also ride credits to consider. Each credit can be bought for $1 each, and all rides at the fair cost at least three credits to ride. Ride-All-Day wristbands that entitle you to ride whatever you want for a full day are available for $30 ($25 if you buy before the fair). Just like with admissions tickets, you'll need a new wristband for each day you want to ride the attractions.

Various promotional discounts at stores and coupon promotions can also affect pricing. A full list of different discounts available can be found at the Ohio State Fair website.

WRAP UP

RVshare loves the outdoors as well as RVing. Connecting with an RV owner through RVshare can turn a good vacation into a great one, especially when you're headed to someplace as special as the Ohio State Fair. Even if you choose to find your way to the fair another way, though, you can still make RVshare part of your trip. Send some of your vacation pictures to memories@rvshare.com to show everyone what you got up to. Your pics might even be featured on the site's blog or social media posts.

Check out the Ohio State Fair on social media under @OhioStateFair on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and don't forget to subscribe to TheOhioStateFair on YouTube for all kinds of exciting video content.