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March 18, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich announces 2008 State Fair theme: “A Family Tradition”
Theme and contest inspired by 1950s “Burma Shave” campaign

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Illinois State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick today announced the theme for the 2008 Illinois State Fair will be “A Family Tradition” and feature a contest inspired by the well-known 1950s advertising campaign for Burma Shave.  A brand of brushless shaving cream, Burma Shave was made famous by their catchy rhymes on small highway billboards across the U.S.   As part of the 2008 State Fair, the Governor and Bliefnick are launching a contest modeled after Burma Shave’s advertising campaign encouraging children statewide to submit five-line rhymes that reflect the theme. Winners will be featured on State Fair promotional materials and signs.
“This year’s theme for the Illinois State Fair truly reflects what the ten-day event is for so many families across our state – a tradition – as traditional as those Burma Shave billboards that dotted our landscape in the 50s,” said Governor Blagojevich.  “That’s why we’re modeling our theme after the Burma Shave advertising campaign and inviting children to participate in our efforts.  We’re bringing generations together in celebration of this year’s Illinois State Fair.”
“Whether or not you are old enough to remember the Burma Shave signs along Illinois highways, we think this is a great way to get people of all ages involved in promoting what is one of the biggest family events in the state--and they can have a little fun at the same time,” Bliefnick suggested.  “Slogans like “Let’s make a-Trip there to –The Illinois State Fair-Where food and fun-Await everyone-Illinois State Fair August 8-17”--with a family-themed flavor--are what we’re looking for.  This really fits well with our family tradition theme and, we hope, gives teachers statewide an opportunity to get their children involved in writing.”
Entries are being accepted from the general public, Bliefnick noted, but the committee choosing the winners will set aside several series of sign slogans submitted by children in grades K-8. Each entry must consist of five lines of text with up to four words maximum on each line.  A sixth line--“Illinois State Fair August 8-17” - will be added to the end of each rhyme.
Entries will be accepted by mail and online through April 11, 2008.  The winners will be announced at an event this spring, the same time the Grandstand line-up for this year’s fair will be unveiled.

Those seeking examples of Burma Shave signs can Google search “Burma Shave slogan” or visit http://www.fiftiesweb.com/burma1.htm.  Applications and instructions are available on our website at www.illinoisstatefair.info.  The Illinois State Fair is scheduled for August 8-17, 2008


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