DUQUOIN – Governor Pat Quinn tonight opened the annual DuQuoin State Fair and marched in the opening parade along with parade marshal Lightning McQueen of Cars movie fame. The fair runs through Sept. 2 at the picturesque DuQuoin State Fairgrounds and features more appearances by Lightning McQueen, entertainment, and some of the world's best harness racing.
“Southern Illinois knows how to hold a fair,” Governor Quinn said. “I invite everyone to visit the beautiful, historic DuQuoin State Fair and enjoy all the activities and attractions it has to offer.”
“Wheels & Deals” is this year's fair theme, and it is highlighted by the Aug. 23 – 25 visit by Lightning McQueen, which resides in Volo, Illinois when not on display at events across the nation. There will be hundreds of hours of free entertainment at the fair.
Veterans Appreciation Night on Aug. 25 features a free concert by Darryl Worley, whose “Have you Forgotten” was number one in the nation for seven straight weeks. A major fireworks display will follow the show. Other major free concerts include Illinois resident and country music sensation Gretchen Wilson playing in the grandstand on Aug. 28, Uncle Kracker on Friday, Aug. 23, and Aaron Tippin on Sunday, Sept. 1.
Tickets may be purchased for concerts by Billy Currington on Aug. 24, Sawyer Brown with Lee Roy Parnell and Grace Askew on Aug. 26, Matt Maher with Brittany Lloyd on Aug. 27, Theory of a Deadman with Trapt on Aug. 29, Montgomery Gentry with Drew Baldridge on Aug. 30, and Kansas with the Fabulous Thunderbirds on Aug. 31.
World-class harness racing is featured through Aug. 25, with the USAC Silver Crown Series Sept. 1 and the ARCA Car Series Sept. 2. Hollywood stunt drivers Tonny Peterson and the Hell Drivers will also be at the fair performing in free shows on the half-mile track Aug. 23 – 25.
The DuQuoin State Fair is working with Neighbors Helping Neighbors to collect food at the fair for food pantries in 19 southern Illinois counties. There will also be a four-wheeler raffle to collect money to purchase food for area residents who are in need.
The DuQuoin State Fairgrounds was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
For more information about the DuQuoin State Fair, visit www.agr.state.il.us/dq/