Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ohio State Fair open!

About 800,000 people are expected to attend this year's fair, which runs through Aug. 4 in Columbus.  Governor John Kasich toured the grounds and activities yesterday, yet said he again will not stay at the fair this year, a tradition set by his predecessors.  "I broke that tradition, but my wife and kids will be here one of these nights," he told reporters.  During a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the fair, Gov. Kasich said work is ongoing to plant more shade trees at the fair. He later ceremonially shoveled some dirt near a newly planted tree.  "Hopefully, by the time we all get a little bit older, we're going to see trees planted all across the fairgrounds ... to make the fairgrounds more comfortable and more hospitable and more family-oriented than we've ever seen it before," the governor said.  The governor also presided over an awards ceremony for the Department of Agriculture's "Ag Is Cool" art and video contest. He conversed with lamb farmers, talked with plasterers and cement masons, raced First Lady Karen Kasich down a giant slide - the First Lady won - and grabbed some ice cream with his family.
At the Department of Natural Resources Park, Hueston Woods State Park naturalist Amanda Dalton introduced the governor to an American kestrel, a small falcon, named Rachel.  At Ms. Dalton's urging, the governor asked "Rachel, may I please see your wings?" The bird obliged by flapping its wings several times.  The governor paused at a pond with a beaver swimming in it, and noted aloud that beavers do not actually live in the dams they build.   "They build the dam to block the water so they can then build their den," Mr. Kasich said.  "Beavers are cool - they are cool."
The governor told reporters that the Ohio State Fair highlights the state's agricultural industry, but it also offers something for everyone.  "It's good for everybody - they learn how to do a little kayaking, they learn how to shoot a bow and arrow - which I'm going to come back for a remedial course on that. I mean, everything is good about it," he said.  "And the greatest thing is families can come here and have a great time, and it's affordable. That's really what it's all about."

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