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The State Fair’s quiet side

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman

One of my favorite mid-summer destinations, the Ohio State Fair gets underway July 25 though Aug. 5 at the Ohio Expositions Center in Columbus, where the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) offers a welcome quiet space that for decades has served as a great place for taking a break from the midway and other traditional fair attractions. Located at the Natural Resources Park on the fairground’s southeast corner, the area is a popular “green space” with outdoors-minded families looking to “take five” or to take part in some hook and bullet activities. The channel cats that used to prowl the popular kiddie fishing ponds have been replaced with easier-to-catch sunfish and the portable kayaking pond has become a permanent fixture. Kids can try their hand at several shooting sports, and there are ongoing wildlife programs and demonstrations, as well as displays of live birds and animals, to entertain and educate all. For more information on the park and activities, visit ohiostatefair.com. I’ll be there with the family on opening day, taking in the Beach Boys concert that night — one of the rare bands from my era that both me and my 18-year-old son agree “are pretty good” — let alone still touring.

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