SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Each year the Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade marches proudly through Springfield to mark the unofficial start of the ten-day annual showcase of Illinois agriculture. Those interested in participating in this year’s parade and Marching Band Competition must act soon; the deadline to enter is July 6.
All entries must complete an application to participate. The application includes a description and drawing or photograph of the proposed entry. A committee then will screen the applications and select parade entrants based upon their entertainment value and conformance to the theme of the fair, which this year is “Family Fun for Everyone.”
After the parade, the fair will recognize the most creative participants with awards and cash prizes. The most prestigious award is the Governor's Sweepstakes Award, which is open to all float entries. The winner will receive $300.
In addition, there will be separate judging categories for commercial and non-commercial entries, with first place receiving the Grand Marshal's Award, second place receiving the Director's Award and third place receiving the Illinois State Fair Award. The winners will receive $150, $50 and $25, respectively.
The parade will take place on Preview Day, Aug. 9, at 6 p.m. Participants are prohibited from throwing materials, including candy, during the parade. However, up to eight individuals may walk alongside a float to distribute materials by walking to the curb and handing them out.
For a complete list of judging criteria, the parade rules and regulations and a parade application, visit www.illinoisstatefair.info or call (217) 782-0777.