Illinois State Fair

Ahead of the start of the Illinois State Fair next week, organizers say they’re optimistic about attendance and attractions. But the fair’s success is an open question.


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U.S. House Speaker

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be the keynote speaker at the annual Illinois Democratic County Chairs' Association brunch August 14th.

Overdose Training at State Fair

Aug 20, 2018
Box of Narcan medication
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

 

This year, the Illinois state fair has everything from fried food to overdose training. 

Health Department officials set up at the fair to teach people about naloxone. The drug can be used to treat opioid overdoses, whether they are from illegal drugs like heroin or an overdose of prescription medication. 

Thousands of Illinois Democrats met Thursday in Springfield for the party’s annual state fair brunch.

Candidates repeated familiar attacks on Republicans. But some say they need to do more.

Republicans held their annual rally at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield Wednesday with a message of party unity.  Bruce Rauner still holds the top office in state government. But as he pushes for re-election, he’s trying to appease conservatives who feel betrayed and whose support he needs to win a second term.   

The Illinois State Fair kicks off next week with the Twilight parade on Thursday, Aug. 9.

State Fair attendance for 2017 hit just over 500-thousand and State Fair Manager Luke Sailer says he’s hoping for even more… trying to bring in guests with new attractions like the fair’s first roller coaster and dropping beer prices from $5 to $4.

Planning for the state fair is in full swing, but Illinois has yet to pay all the costs for last year’s fair … and the one before.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey/IL Public Radio

Governor Bruce Rauner says there are still serious issues facing the state, and he hopes a compromise can be reached so that Illinois can move forward soon.

People
Governor's office

Governor Bruce Rauner is questioning the independence of some Cook County judges from Democratic politicians.

Governor Rauner Wednesday lamented the power of the Democratic Machine in Illinois.

A new foundation has been created to raise money for Illinois State Fair infrastructure.  Questions have already been raised about how the private entity will intermingle with government.

DuQuoin State Fair
IL Dept of Agriculture

Efforts in the Illinois Legislature to create a private foundation that would support state fairgrounds in Springfield and Du Quoin remain stalled as the Illinois State Fair kicks off this year.

People
Amanda Vinicky, Illinois Public Radio

Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin - each collects private donations to help run their state fairs. But despite faulty infrastructure that will cost an estimated 180 million dollars to repair ... Illinois does not.

Should the Illinois State Fair raise more private money?

Governor Bruce Rauner officially opened the Illinois State Fair Friday morning. But there is still no state budget in place, and Rauner would not say how Illinois is paying for the fair.

There were all the trappings of the usual fair grand opening: politicians, a Lincoln impersonator, a ribbon cutting.

But an impasse between Rauner, a Republican, and Democratic majorities in the legislature means Illinois has no legal authority to pay for the fair. Rauner, however, refused to answer questions about that — or anything else.

People
Seth Perlman, Associated Press

Governor Bruce Rauner officially opened the Illinois State Fair  Friday morning. But there is still no state budget in place, and Rauner refused to say how Illinois is paying for the fair.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is moving ahead with plans to hold the Illinois State Fair next month, despite the fact that there is no budget in place to pay for it.  

A Fulton County native will head both the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and the DuQuoin State Fair.

IL Dept. of Agriculture

Attendance was up nearly 15 percent at this year's Illinois State Fair.

State Fair manager Amy Bliefnick tells The State Journal-Register in Springfield attendees seemed to enjoy the mild weather after weeks of heat earlier in the summer. Attendance for the 10-day fair was just more than 844,000 this year. Last year it was about 735,600.

Bliefnick says attendance figures ``would have been very different'' if central Illinois had the triple-digit temperatures it saw in July.