We arrived back in Columbus while the State Fair was on. So we checked into the Hyatt in the middle of Columbus and planned our two days at the Fair. First things first, we found Darby’s bar in the lobby of our hotel and settled in for a couple of beers and a pizza for dinner.
We decided to head to the fairgrounds around 9am and it was already hot and only going to get hotter. The fairgrounds were only about 15 minutes drive away with ample parking for $5 per car it was hassle free. The entry was $8 per head and after a quick bag check we were in.
We decided to find somewhere for breakfast or at least coffee. After having our coffee (which was good even at the fair you get good coffee) we set off to explore with things hotting up weather-wise. We headed down the food alley where you can get anything deep fried you can imagine and some things you cant.
We found the oasis of the fairground it was a domelike building called the taste of Ohio inside it was so cool and would have to been the best ac in the district to keep it so cool. There were cooking demos held in this building but also a stand for each for Ohio lamb, beef, chicken, pork and diary.
We decided this would be where we’d be for lunch, lamb sandwich (the first we’ve had since arriving in the US (so both suffering serious withdrawal), before lunch we headed to the hog barn to check out the judging and also to see the biggest pig I have ever seen. We headed to the cattle barn and they were judging Santa’s but they don’t have many exhibitors, nothing like the royal but the stock that were there were good.
The lamb was calling and we were dripping with perspiration it was so humid and we needed to cool off while enjoying our lamb sandwich. They lady working the stand had visited Australia the year before and had visited a number of merino studs in NSW and the Bendigo Show. She was pleased to share her story so much so that I was embarrassed by the long line forming behind me while she chatted. Back to the lamb it was so tasty and we both enjoyed it so much that we considered having a second but though better of it and would save it for the next day.
After the lamb it was time for the chainsaw carver to start his show. We headed down to take up a good position in the pavilion. Burt was very entertaining and clever with his saws, he produced some fun animals. My favourites were the owl and the bulldog but they were all good.
Time to head to the Brown barn to check out the sheep judging and the wool. The corridales were on show they are more hobby style sheep as opposed to commercial operation. Some studs in attendance and we did find a pen of merino which required their sign to be sure. They were small and had very little wool to speak of.
The wool pavilion was interesting to say the least. Not many fleeces about 50 odd, fleeces shown in plastic bags and not skirted. If was fun to take a look but they nowhere near compare to anything that could be at any country show in NSW. Although Ohio is not a major sheep area in the states it was evident that we were bang in the middle of hog and chicken country.
Day two was similar to day one including the lamb sandwiches followed by some locally made ice-cream, mine was butter pecan and Sharpie had strawberry. We did visit some of the markets stalls and purchased two pillow pets (by request Sarah) and a nifty (if it works) little rubber mat that sticks to the dash and holds all manner of things such as mobile, gps and other things needed in easy reach in the car. They are reusable look like they will be really good.
We watched the chainsaw guy carve another animal and watched an hour of the percheron horses being judged in the colosseum usually used for basketball but transformed to a show ring for the fair. We DIDN’T try the Muddy Pig aka chocolate dipped bacon.
All in all the fair was an experience that I am glad we have had but it something that once you’ve done it there is no need to do it again.
We enjoyed three nights in Hyatt Columbus and visited the bar every night for drinks and buffalo wings (all we could manage for dinner, and shared 6 at that). It was good to be able to chat to locals and our barmen Mike was good value and kept us entertained with all the stuff he didn’t know about Australia.
Off to Kentucky again next, able to get booked in on a Three Chimneys Stud Farm tour. Looking forward to taking all the back roads through the amish country to get there. We get off the Interstates at every opportunity