COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For the first time in more than three decades, Ohio 4-H members going to the Ohio State Fair who would normally compete for blue ribbons in the Rhodes Center will find themselves going to a different location.
The Ohio Expo Center and State Fair is making improvements at the fairgrounds, demolishing some buildings this year and building a new multipurpose conference center to open in 2016, said Allen Auck, program manager for 4-H events and activities.
As a result, the state fair needs the Rhodes Center for other purposes, and Ohio 4-H is adjusting when and where non-livestock project competitions will meet.
“We just want to be certain that 4-H members and their families check the schedule and know when and where the events they are selected by their counties to participate in will take place,” Auck said.
About 1,000 4-H members participating at the state fair this summer will be affected by the changes, he said.
Ohio 4-H is the youth development program of Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
The biggest location change is for the 4-H Clothing Days and Fashion Revue, which will be moved off the fairgrounds altogether. It will be held Aug. 4-6 on Ohio State’s campus at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive.
Auck said there was no suitable space available at the state fairgrounds to hold the Fashion Revue this year.
“There are so many participants that we had to move this event off the fairgrounds to give 4-H members the kind of quality judging experience we want them to have,” said Kirk Bloir, associate state 4-H leader.
The 4-H center has ample space for safe and secure changing rooms required by the 700-800 participants, as well as rooms for the interviews that take place during the event and for the Fashion Revue itself.
There are other changes this year that longtime 4-H participants should be aware of. For example, Photography Day has always been held on the first Saturday of the fair, but this year it’s the second Saturday, Aug. 8, in the Lausche Building — known during the state fair as the Youth Center.
Except for the Clothing Days and Fashion Revue, 4-H events affected by a change in venue or schedule at the state fair will be held in the Youth Center. The affected events are:
- Family Life Day — Child Development: July 30
- Family Life Day — Genealogy: July 30
- Small Engines and Lawn Care (now part of Engineering Excitement Day): Aug. 1
- Creative Arts Day II — Cake Decorating: Aug. 4
- Photography Day: Aug. 8
Additionally, daily schedule changes have been made for events that have multiple registration time slots over the course of the day. The changes have been made in an attempt to balance out participation to avoid long registration lines during busy periods, Auck said.
Complete details about Ohio 4-H at the state fair this year are available at go.osu.edu/4-Hatohiostatefair2015. Anyone with questions may contact Auck at email@example.com or Amanda Forquer, 4-H program coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone wishing to support 4-H youth at the Ohio State Fair may donate funds toward Clock Trophies, given to the “Best of the Best” participants during the fair. To donate, contact Melissa Foster, program assistant with the Ohio 4-H Foundation, at 614-292-6943 or email@example.com.