COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A day at the Ohio State Fair can be pricey for visiting families, but this year, vendors may be the ones bearing the brunt of costs.
Some vendors at this year’s fair — many of whom are operating all-day-long on generator power or diesel — said they are paying triple what they did in 2019, largely due to increased fuel costs to get to the fair and the rising price of materials required for their products.
Taylor Talley, a manager at Talley’s Amusements, said her company started feeling the burn in its wallets on the way to the fair.
“For my kiddie ride, I have Dumbo the Flying Elephant which is in kiddie land, it cost me $7,000 to get it here from Texas,” Talley said.
The $7,000 price tag — which is just one of the dozens of rides at the fair — nearly triples what it cost Talley in 2019, she said. The sky-high prices don’t stop at travel.
“The whole midway (of the fair) is actually operated by generators,” Talley said. “We have about four or five at the fairgrounds, and it took 15 gallons of fuel just for the 12 days of the fair.”
Rides aren’t the only thing feeling the burn.
John Schmidt, the owner of Schmidt’s Restaurant of German Village, said the eatery’s prices have not changed for customers since 2019. This year, however, Schmidt said his restaurant is taking the financial heat instead of giving it to customers.
“The pork and the beef and everything down to the casings that we stuff our sausage with has all gone up, but we are going to eat that cost as long as we can,” Schmidt said.
Other vendors, like Cookie Dough Monsters, said they are doing the same because the profits they make from sales will hopefully bring them back.
“We haven’t raised our prices at all, but the cooking oil went up at least twice as much,” Terry Gillmore, owner of Cookie Dough Monsters, said. “The more people that are here, the better it will do for us. If it slows down, then yeah, it’s going to hurt.”
Some of the vendors said they rely solely on fairs to make a living, so they are just happy to be back.