Over the years, Smith has noticed changes at the fair.
“Back when I first started coming, it was many, many acres of farm machinery,” Smith said. “Now there’s only one farm machinery display. It has gone from totally agricultural to something that is more urban.”
Smith’s wife, Kathy, has attended every fair since 1955 with the exception of the year their youngest daughter was born.
Smith, his wife, and their two daughters are all members of the Ohio State Fair 50 Year Club. The 50 Year Club is for fairgoers who visited the fair at least one time in 1967 or earlier.
When he visits, Smith says he always visits the swine, beef and cattle barns but tries take to everything in that the fair has to offer.
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Smith says he doesn’t have a goal in mind when it comes to how many years he wants to continue visiting the fair.
“I never started out with the consideration, it just happened,” Smith said. “As long as my legs will take me, I’ll be there.”
Smith does have one tradition when he visits the fair.
“I always get an elephant ear,” Smith said. “I’m actually a diabetic, so I splurge once a year.”
Smith’s daughters dedicated a brick to commemorate his fair attendance. The brick was installed in June near the Cardinal Gate entrance at the Ohio State Expo Center.