Contests and Competitions


Ohio students will spell their way to the top at the 4-H Spelling Bee on July 26 in the Rhodes Center, while artistic students will display their winning posters from the statewide Severe Weather Poster Competition in the DiSalle Creative Arts Center. Nearly 6,000 youth will showcase their knowledge in a variety of fields at the Youth Center.

Agriculture, Horticulture and Floriculture

Check out home-grown fruits, vegetables, flowers, homebrewed beer, decorated scarecrows and gigantic produce entered in these competitions held in the Nationwide Donahey Ag & Hort Bldg. presented by the Ohio Farm Bureau.

Creative Arts

Whether it’s the culinary arts, food sculpting, fashion design, hand crafts sewing, quilting or wacky crafts involving Brillo® pads and duct tape, the Creative Arts division in the DiSalle Creative Arts Center presented by JoAnn Fabric & Crafts has more than 450 competitions with thousands of dollars in awards, and various demonstrations each day of the Fair.

Fine Arts

The Cox Fine Arts Center and adjacent Youth Arts exhibit are modern galleries featuring more than 300 works from Ohio’s top artists, performing arts displays, and Plein Air and short film competitions.

Homebrewed Beer

See the list of winning ales, meads, lagers and more in this exhibit showcasing Ohio’s top homebrewed beers selected from hundreds of entries.


More than 20,000 animals are exhibited at the Ohio State Fair!

  • Beef cattle
  • Dairy cattle
  • Dog shows
  • Goats
  • Horses
  • Llamas
  • Poultry
  • Rabbits
  • Sheep
  • Swine

Sporting Competitions

You’ll find a large number of sporting events at the Fair. Click here for a list of sporting events. 

Sale of Champions and Youth Scholarships

The Sale of Champions Livestock Auction, created in 1968, boasts some of the highest bids of any state fair in the nation each year. Funds received over the maximum cash award go into the Youth Reserve Program, which allots funds for scholarships, the Outstanding Market Exhibitor Program, and other Fair competition winners. To date, the Youth Reserve Program has awarded $2,556,875 to approximately 32,000 youth exhibitors since its inception. 

Youth Organizations

The Fair is dedicated to promoting education among youth organizations including Ohio 4-H, Boy Scouts of America, Camp Fire, Ohio Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), FFA, Girl Scouts of the USA, Ohio Alliance for the Arts, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Grange Youth and Junior Grange, and the Time Warner Cable Technology Education & Engineering Showcase. While each of these organizations has a unique mission, they all promote education and leadership.