If you are planning to head to the Ohio State Fair this year make sure that you are wearing shoes or you may end up like Robert Neinhast.
Robert Neinhast, who runs a blog that focuses on, amongst other things, him going places barefoot, was ejected from the Ohio State Fair on August 9, 2008 for being barefoot. Despite signs posted at the entrances stating that shoes are required, Mr. Neinhast claimed he had attended the fair barefoot at least 11 times prior.
Mr. Neinhast, who had previous run-ins with the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Fairfield County District Library, and the Smithsonian Institute, filed an action in Franklin Common Pleas Court disputing the Fair Commission’s authority to create and enforce such a rule. The court dismissed the case finding that the Commission’s rule “protects both the health and safety of fair patrons and is consistent with the general welfare of fairgoers.”
Instead of walking away from the loss, Mr. Neinhast pressed on and appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals ruled that the Commission had the authority to manage the fair to protect the health of fairgoers including requiring shoes. Mr. Neinhast appealed the decision again, this time to the Ohio Supreme Court who decided that Mr. Neinhast did not have a foot to stand on and declined to review the case.
Do not weep for Mr. Neinhast, he returned to the fair in 2012, this time wearing soleless sandals.
Neinast v. Ohio Expositions Comm., 2009-Ohio-4850
At the Ohio State Fair