COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After a two-year hiatus, the Ohio State Fair is back, with Wednesday’s opening ceremony marking the fair’s official return to the capital city.

With food, rides, and exhibits, Governor Mike DeWine says the fair is an opportunity to recognize the greatness that already exists in Ohio, and also celebrate the great things still to come in the future of our state.

“Fairs are about a lot of things, but certainly fairs — like Ohio’s great state fair — is about young people,” reminded Gov. DeWine.

As Gov. DeWine cut the ribbon on the 2022 Ohio State Fair, the state’s future was the theme for he and Lt. Governor Jon Husted.

“It’s about the livestock, but it’s not just only about the livestock,” Gov. DeWine describes. “A young person can come here and compete in electronics, some of them can come here with their photography, and their baking, and on and on.”

Both DeWine and Husted highlighting the opportunities for Ohio’s youth to not only have fun, but the chance for them to learn and even compete.

“It’s very important though, that we give our youth hands on experience,” Lt. Gov. Husted encourages. “Because how are they going to know how to do things in their profession, or academic careers or in life, unless they get to experience it?”

Two years ago, state leaders cancelled the fair in its entirety. Last year, the central Ohio favorite was limited to livestock exhibitors and their families. And while all of that returns this year, so do many of fair-favorite activities from years past.

“I love to see the smiling faces on the kids when they’re seeing the lumberjack show or when they hear Smokey Bear say their name,” says Jason Fallon with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Exhibits like the Natural Resource Park are filled with exciting opportunities for families and their kids.

“We like to see these kids become the next park ranger, be a naturalist, be a natural resources officer,” Fallon admits. “To us, that’s really important to showcase the great things we do in the department.”

And as hundreds of thousands of people flood the midway, DeWine urges Ohioans use the next 12 days, to come together.

“The Ohio State Fair is really about who we are as a people,” the Governor states.

For information on gate hours, ticket prices, parking and more, click here.