Columbus -- The crowd was gathered and ready for the opening of the 2015 Ohio State Fair July 29.

Gov. John Kasich, wife Karen and daughters Emma and Reese, were poised to cut the ceremonial ribbon marking the official start of the 12-day event.

And that's when the governor and other officials realized no one had brought ceremonial scissors to finish the job.

No worries, though, as Kasich, armed with some tiny clippers from someone's pen knife, and the First Family turned the ribbon-cutting into a ribbon-tearing.

"It's a beautiful day for the fair," the governor told reporters afterward, between signing a few autographs for youngsters and posing with junior fair board members. "That's what you want -- clear, no rain and a lot of lemonade today. That's just perfect."

The Ohio State Fair, in its 162nd year, runs through Aug. 9, with upward of 800,000 people expected to attend, depending on the weather.

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for youngsters and seniors, though there are ample discounts available and special admission days planned.

Among other attractions, the mainstay butter cow is back, along with buttery versions of Ohio State University head football Coach Urban Meyer and OSU's Brutus Buckeye mascot, in honor of the schools national championship football team.

More than 23,000 head of livestock have been entered in fair competitions, though you won't find any chickens, ducks or turkeys on the grounds this year, thanks to concerns over avian flu.

Fair officials note that there are 30-some different types of food that can be purchased on a stick from various fair vendors. French fries, pizza and corn dogs are among the top-selling foods.

Kasich's first food stop July 29 was for breakfast, talking longtime vendor Schmidt's of German Village into doling out some bacon, eggs and coffee shortly after the lunch menu kicked in.

"You've got to accommodate your customers like I have to accommodate the voters," the governor joked.

Kasich stopped to admire some butterflies, he talked about installing some bat boxes at his home, and he learned that there's no "the" in Smokey Bear's name.

"I'll answer to a lot of things, but ... I don't have a middle name," the new 14-foot animatronic fire prevention mascot told the governor.

Kasich's fair tour this year took on an added significance, with his recent entry into the presidential race. Many fair-goers wished him well in the coming campaign.

"I have been doing a little bit of traveling lately," he said. "I want people here to know that no matter where I am, I seem to find Ohio because Ohio is really such a special place."

He added, "I tell people around the country, if you were a Martian and you wanted to take a picture of America, the fearless leader would send you out to take a picture, and where would you go? You would fly over Ohio and take a snapshot because we are America. ... We're a great state, we're on our way up and it's fantastic."

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.