SPRINGFIELD – August 10, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today officially opened the 2012 Illinois State Fair, “Family Fun for Everyone.” Today’s ribbon cutting at the fairground’s main gate marks the start of the 10-day celebration that features food, racing, music, carnival rides and a wide variety of family-friendly activities.
“The state fair is an Illinois staple, with something for everyone, whether you are young or just young at heart,” Governor Quinn said. “I hope everyone comes to Springfield to sample the sights and sounds of the fair.”
The state fair began 159 years ago as a way for Illinois farmers to showcase their labor. The fair continues to feature Illinois livestock, as well as produce and other Illinois products at the Farmers Market Tent. Visitors can also enjoy auto racing, horse shows and harness racing in addition to the carnival rides.
Along with the Grandstand concert lineup, the fair also features a wide variety of free entertainment – from high diving to musical acts – on 14 stages throughout the fairgrounds. Also this year, the Chicago cast of the highly acclaimed “Million Dollar Quartet” will give a free performance along with the group New Odyssey at the Grandstand. The Broadway musical is based on the recording session that brought together Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.
Fairgoers will also have the opportunity to learn about state government and the state programs that are helping grow Illinois’ economy. Many of the state’s agencies and departments, as well as other constitutional officers, will have tents at the fair where people can obtain information about state services and programs.
Governor Quinn will also cut the ribbon on the Governor’s Tent at the fair today, officially opening the tent to fairgoers. The tent features displays about Governor Quinn’s programs and initiatives that are aimed at creating and supporting high quality jobs throughout Illinois. The Governor’s Tent will also feature an interactive simulated coal mine, a corn crib dig pit and an artistic, accurate, museum quality 4-ft world globe designed by Chicago artist Matt Binns. The tent is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily during the fair.
For a complete listing of daily activities at the 2012 Illinois State Fair, “Family Fun for Everyone,” please visit statefair.illinois.gov or call (217) 782-6661. The state fair runs from Aug. 9 – 19, 2012.