SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Fairgoers have a chance to etch their names into the Illinois State Fairgrounds and become a permanent part of the fair’s history.
During a ground breaking ceremony today, the fair announced plans to construct a Recognition Wall that will honor those who have made the fair a premiere agricultural event. Prominently located inside the Main Gate on the east side of Main Street, the wall will display commemorative plaques that fair enthusiasts can purchase and inscribe to memorialize their support of the fair.
“The Department of Agriculture may put on the fair, but it belongs to the people,” Agriculture Director Tom Jennings said. “It’s the contributions of vendors and exhibitors and patrons through the years that have made the fair a favorite family pastime. The department is just a caretaker of their tradition. That’s why we’re collaborating with the Illinois State Fair Museum Foundation to build this wall. It’s a novel way to recognize their support.”
The Museum Foundation is a not-for-profit group formed to preserve the fair and its history for future generations. Because of its not-for-profit status, contributions to the wall project are tax deductible.
“The Illinois State Fair has served generations of Illinoisans and is truly an asset,” foundation chairperson Pam Gray said. “I encourage all Illinois State Fair-lovers to support this project so that we can preserve Illinois State Fair history and make improvements to this beloved facility.”
Eight different plaques are available, ranging from a $100 “Friend of the State Fair” to a $25,000 “Grand Champion member.” With each incremental increase in donation, the plaques to be placed in the wall get bigger in size and allow for a larger, more personalized inscription. For more information, visit statefairmuseum.org on the internet.