Our guide to the Ohio State Fair, including fair facts, fried foods, dancing tractors ... and Meat Loaf.

An outbreak of Asiatic cholera in 1849 forced the first Ohio State Fair to be cancelled.

Admission to the first Ohio State Fair in 1850 was 20 cents.

The fair first brought entertainment to visitors in 1853. Fairgoers could see monkeys wearing hats while dancing to minstrel music. Today they can see Ke$ha.

Past butter sculptures inspired by pop culture moments have included butter renditions of Darth Vader, Mr. Monopoly and a Furby.

Before permanently moving to its home at the Ohio Expo Center in 1886, the state fair was held in three other Columbus locations: Franklin Park, Schiller Park and the area that is now Mount Carmel Hospital.

There was no fair between 1942 and 1945; the buildings were used to hold equipment for World War II by the Army Air Corps, which rented the facility for $1 a year.

In 1894, to introduce football to the general public, the fair sponsored three games between Ohio universities. Ohio State played Akron and Wittenberg. OSU lost both matches.

German Village mainstay Schmidt's has been vending at the state fair for 97 years, the longest continuous participation by any restaurant. The fair's choir has sung "Happy Birthday" to owner George Schmidt for more than 80 of those.

Last year's butter sculptures required about 8,000 sticks of butter. That's enough for 240,000 Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies.

In 1896, the Ohio State Fair became the first fair with an electric lighting system. The same year, horseless vehicles made their first appearance.

This year, nine octogenarians will be working at the fair.

The first portion of the SkyGlider was built in 1969 - the same year the Giant Slide opened. The SkyGlider was later extended to 11th Avenue in 1984. There are now 98 cars on the ride, which averages 1,800 rides per hour.

To celebrate America's bicentennial in 1976, a time capsule containing Ohio sports teams' memorabilia, coins, stamps, a T-shirt, Levis and tennis shoes, was buried in the gardens near the "OHIO" sign on 11th Avenue entrance. It will be opened in 2026.

The Ferris wheel is covered with about 7,500 lights.

On Sunday, Aug. 13, 2006, a record number of 110,234 fairgoers visited the Fair.

In 1957, Maurice Neville became the first female livestock judge. She judged the Yorkshire Swine Show.

When The Oak Ridge Boys perform this year, they will tie Bob Hope for most appearances at the Ohio State Fair - 15 times. Johnny Cash is the runner-up, with nine concerts. Columbus native Bow Wow has appeared once - the same amount as Air Supply. Way to represent.

There will be 189 food vendors at this year's fair, and the offerings will include a hamburger that replaces the buns with doughnuts. I can almost hear Homer Simpson's mouth watering.