Ohio State Fair just got cheaper

If you’re looking for travel deals, try a state fair. If any state fair is like Ohio’s, it’s looking for ways to entice people to come by offering discounts and deals, particularly on food.

According to this Toledo Blade article, the “staycation” folks are the ones the Ohio State Fair is courting. As a result, this particular fair is a coupon clipper’s dream. Many coupons found on the fair’s Website offer free drinks with some sort of sandwich purchase; some are money-off deals.

At first glance, the best deal is at the Donahey Agriculture and Hort Building. The coupon touts that kids under 12 get a free Bob Evans kid’s meal for climbing the Corn Wall.

There’s a catch, though: after calling the state fair to verify what I suspected, I found out that you have to go to a Bob Evans restaurant to get your child that meal. Regardless, climbing the Corn Wall would be fun even without the extra reward.

Don’t miss out on the coupons for the Taste of Ohio Café. I can personally vouch for the food. That’s where we ate last year. The point of this building is to highlight Ohio’s food abundance. Each stand is run by a different Ohio food producing association. The Ohio Poultry Association, for example, sells the Thanksgiving dinner that has a has a coupon for $1 off. There’s no catch here.

The coupon sheet serves another purpose, as well: Use it as a fair guide. As you eat and drink your way through the day, you’ll learn a bit more about Ohio. As a note, some coupons are for food items you can eat later. Jose Madrid salsa is one such item. This salsa brand is made in Ohio, and it’s terrific. I’m partial to the hotter versions.

For the coupon sheet, click here.

Deep fried pickles, unfortunately, aren’t included. I love deep fried dill pickles, a food I never heard of or ate before moving to Ohio. I don’t know about the deep friend pickles at the fair, but the ones at Old Bag of Nails Pub in Worthington are yummy.

The fair started in Columbus on Wednesday and will go through Tuesday, August 9.

Butter cows and other butter sculptures

Intelligent Travel recently posted about the Iowa State Fair’s tradition of the butter cow. This is not the only state to boast a life-size cow sculpted out of pounds and pounds of butter. Other fairs have cow and other objects done up in butter as part of their fair traditions.

The Ohio State Fair jumped on the butter cow bandwagon awhile back and has added other butter sculptures to the dairy wow factor. This year, displayed in the same case as the cow and her calf, is Ohio’s version of Mt. Rushmore–the faces of the eight U.S. presidents who were born in Ohio.

I was fortunate enough to visit the display this past Friday. There is a voice recording that blares out butter sculpture facts so that any one within yards of the building can get the scoop on exactly what’s involved in such an endeavor.

I also found the facts in this post by Kathy Lynn Gray who is blogging on the Ohio State Fair. It takes two tons of butter to sculpt 8 presidents and 2 cows. In stick numbers, that’s 8,000 sticks of butter.

If you’d like to try sculpting butter yourself, you’ll need a dairy case that is kept at 46 degrees in which to work, but work fast. You’ll only be able to work in increments of 40 minutes because you’ll get too cold and need to take a break.

In the same building that houses the butter sculptures at the Ohio State Fair, you can buy ice-cream, butter-milk and milk. The milk was a bargain at $1 for a 1/2 pint. If you happen to want ice-cream, the line moves fairly quickly. There are only four flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and mint chocolate chip. My son shared.

A friend of mine wants to know what happens to the butter after the fair. I’m not sure I’d want to eat any of that butter on toast, even if it is kept cold. For more butter sculpture info, click here.