The 2023 Ohio State Fair came to a close on Sunday, Aug. 6. The 12 days of the event showed record-breaking numbers in many areas, including revenue and community support.
“The Ohio State Fair represents the best of Ohio! It is a phenomenal opportunity to showcase all the wonderful things that Ohio has to offer and why it is the best place in the Nation to raise a family and grow a business,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “We had a record-breaking turnout at this year’s Fair, and we appreciate the hard work of all who made this Fair an incredible success.”
The Ohio State Fair continues to honor tradition, offer top-notch entertainment, provide education, maintain strong agricultural roots, and celebrate Ohio.
“I will never forget this Fair,” said General Manager Virgil Strickler, who will be retiring in the coming months. “The great success of this year’s event will be remembered for years to come. While this was my last Fair as General Manager, I’m already counting down the days to next year’s Opening Day when I can return with my family and continue to watch this great Fair continue to succeed.”
A large number of activities and attractions at the Ohio State Fair were included free with admission, including: the butter cow and calf sculpture, activities in the 8-acre Natural Resources Park, entertainment stages/areas and strolling entertainment, livestock shows, equestrian shows and performances, the petting zoo, activities in the Lausche Youth Exploration Space presented by Intel, attractions, pig races, one of the largest fine arts exhibitions in the State, the creative and youth arts exhibits, demonstrations, live music, samplings, shuttles, and so much more.
“We do our best to create an event that can be enjoyed by all Ohioans and out-of-state visitors,” said Strickler. “Whether that’s maintaining affordable admission and concert ticket prices, increasing our accessibility resources, or providing free admission or tickets to non-profits, community partners, veterans, military personnel, and first responders, we want all Ohioans to have the opportunity to experience the Ohio State Fair.”
More than $3.2 million in total Midway (ride and game) revenue, which is an increase of 36.2% over 2022. More than $8.2 million in total concessions (food and beverage) sales, which is an increase of 18.4% over 2022.
Some fun food facts of the fair: 46,818 total scoops of Velvet ice cream were sold in the Taste of Ohio Cafe; 36,733 corndogs were sold; 27,759 total hot dogs; 25,284 ears of corn; 22,986 funnel cakes, 13,822 turkey legs and 9,678 cream puffs were sold by Schmidt’s.
In 2023, Fair attendance increased by 16.7% with approximately 1,006,228 fairgoers. The Fair also broke a single-day attendance record, with 119,660 visitors on Saturday, Aug. 5. Prior to 2023, the single-day attendance record was 115,288, set on Sunday, July 28, 2013.