Let’s go to the Ohio State Fair!


Let’s talk about the Ohio State Fair, mamas. Did you know it’s amazing? And affordable? And in our backyard?

Several years ago, my sister-in-laws started entering the fair’s baking and crafting competitions. I would listen as Bern and Theresa would pore over recipes, craft books and Pinterest to decide what concoction they’d enter. To be honest, I didn’t really understand their passion, but it was nice to help brainstorm.

Then, when I was about four-weeks postpartum with my second child, I came down to Columbus to visit. It was fair week and Bern and Theresa were in full effect. They were baking, they were crafting, they were freaking out. It was exhilarating! They each won blue ribbons that year and I was hooked.

We eventually moved to Columbus and in 2015 I registered for the fair. Unfortunately, that year I walked away empty-handed. But in 2016 I hit the jackpot with a first place, blue ribbon in Button Art (yes that’s a category). Behold, Button Prince:

Search #ButtonPrince on Instagram to see how he was made!

It was incredible to see my creation with the first-place ribbon hanging from it. I’m telling you what guys, I had no idea I was going to feel that good! This year I am entering the Button Art category again AND getting my kids involved! 

The fair has hundreds of competitions for you to choose from – there is literally something for everyone! My three kids were involved with the making of Button Prince and were equally, no more, excited than I was when we all saw him with a beautiful blue ribbon attached.

What are you waiting for? Check out the fair. It may seem like something only 80-year olds do, but I assure you, the fair is for women in their (late) 30s too! And including the kids? In my book, it makes it that much more fun!

2017 Competition Highlights

Arts, Crafts and Fashion – 163 different divisions and more than $12,000 in prizes offered (Deadline to enter June 20)

  • Tie Dye T-shirt – The kids can help – or do their own shirts – while you tie dye a shirt in any technique you choose. Dip it, squirt it, make it! Bonus: any designs you aren’t a fan of can become your kids’ unofficial summer uniforms. (NEW! page 16
  • Ohio-themed craft – We’ve got Buckeye state pride! Home décor and crafts that show love for our home state are all the rage. Why not take some of that Pin-spiration that you’ve been pinning away and come up with a unique Ohio craft? (page 16)

Youth Arts (Deadline to enter June 20)

  • Moms, have a budding artist grades 1-12? Get them to enter their favorite works for a chance at prizes, a shopping spree for your school or even a chance to have your art exhibited in the Ohio Governor’s Residence for an entire year!

Culinary Arts – 111 competitions and more than $10,000 in prizes (Deadline to enter June 20)

  • “Chopped” Cook-Off – any parent who has ever had to dig through the pantry and fridge to create a dinner from random items can easily take on this competition – you get to bring your 10 favorite ingredients and only have two “mystery” ones to include. Compared to a weeknight when you forgot to go the grocery – that’s nothing! (page 15
  • Ohio Wines – have a glass and incorporate at least 1 cup of wine into an entrée, side dish, dessert or other wine creation (like a sangria, spritzer or smoothie). Go ahead – try out a recipe after bedtime. (page 19
Moments after seeing the first place ribbon!

 What are you waiting for? Check out the Ohio State Fair….it’s a blast for you and the kids!

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Jessica is a native of Cleveland, OH (well, a small town 30-minutes outside of CLE, Perry, have you heard of it?!) who moved with her family of five to Columbus in 2014 on a giant leap of faith. Columbus has not disappointed from Day One. She is mom to three great kids, Sadie (7), Colin (5) and Elise (3). Somehow the kids ended up each being 26-months apart, something this not-so-mathematically inclined mama definitely did not plan! She’s been married to her husband Brian for ten years and credits him for (mostly) keeping her crazy in check. Her work is one of her passions – she works media relations in the field of organ, eye and tissue donation. Her job brings her great pride and joy and she actually looks forward going into work every single day. Her other passion is advocating for stage four breast cancer research. Jessica lost her mom in 2013, after a two-year, harrowing road with cancer. She tries to raise awareness for the spread of breast cancer and to educate others on supporting causes that fund stage four research to save lives. Jessica recently won her first Blue Ribbon at the Ohio State Fair for “Button Price” a button art (yes, that’s a thing) rendition of Prince (the singer and purple legend), loves Beyoncé, will never turn down the opportunity of a mid-Saturday nap and is excited to continue exploring this great city we live in!