SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Come one, come all to the most affordable day of the fair, Family Day, Sunday, Aug. 19. Admission this day is reduced to $3 for adults, and there is plenty to see and do that is either free or low cost for families on a budget.
These budget-friendly activities include Farmer’s Little Helpers in the Gate 2 area. At this free children’s attraction, “little helpers” can learn all about Illinois Agriculture through hands-on activities such as raising farm animals, tending crops and taking their harvest to market. Next door is the Kids Ag-tivity tent. Parents can rest while children color and play games.
One of the best deals on the fairgrounds is the bargain bracelet sold at carnival ticket booths. For $25 each, the whole family can enjoy unlimited rides at Adventure Village and the Carnival Midway from noon to 10 p.m. Make sure, though, to leave time for the high dive show “Olympic Glory,” which gives performances on Central Ave. at 2, 4:30, 6 and 8 p.m.
Another area full of fun for the whole family is Conservation World, home to the ever popular Whip-guy, Chris Camp, and many more free exhibits and interactive activities. Fairgoer favorites include a children’s fishing pond, where free fishing clinics are held, and the BB gun and archery ranges.
There also are 12 free entertainment stages throughout the fairgrounds. The Apex stage showcases up and coming talent and is located on the corner of Grandstand and Illinois Ave. South of the Grandstand is the Northwest stage, which offers a variety of entertainment and even room to dance. Next to the Hobbies, Arts & Crafts Building is the Lincoln Stage, which on Family Day will host the spiritual Powerlight Festival. Big band, swing and jazz music are featured nightly in the Twilight Ballroom from 7 to 10 p.m.
Top Hogs Receive Top Billing in Happy Hollow
Want to get star struck and awe inspired? Then come out to see a couple of Hollywood stars perform at the 2012 Illinois State Fair.
These are not your typical stars, however. Mud Slinger and Digger are two Pot Belly pigs. While currently entertaining fairgoers in Happy Hollow, these Top Hogs have performed on such TV shows as “National Geographic Hog Genius,” “Animal Planet Animal Stars” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
Digger opens the show and demonstrates that hogs can do anything that dogs can do. Digger sits up, plays dead, shakes hands and does a figure 8 between owner John Vincent’s legs. Mud Slinger answers math questions asked by the audience and lip-syncs Elvis’ song, “Are You Lonely Tonight.”
Different music plays for every act they perform, but it is Vincent’s hand signals that Mud Slinger and Digger react to and that enables them to perform in harmonious, choreographed perfection.
“Positive reinforcement is my key when it comes to training animals,” Vincent said. “After about a year of daily training, they are ready to take stage.”
Top Hogs performs daily at 11:00 a.m. Admission is free. It is just one of the free shows in Happy Hollow. Other attractions include the West Texas Rattlesnake Show, the Movie Stunt Show and Disney’s Perry the Platypus with his Platy-bus.
Special Events Results
1. Jackson Weller, Chatham
2. Jude Pryor, Springfield
3. Kanon Eddington, Springfield
1. Emma Motley, Springfield
2. Alex Barton, Morrisonville
3. Lily Milburg, Divernon
1. Sean Rapacz, Springfield
2. Presley Ernst, Springfield
3. Caleb Gorbett, Springfield
Sierra Eigenmann, New Berlin
2 Years & Under:
1. Hailey Sherwood, Springfield
2. Claire Beauchamp, Riverton
3 & 4 Years:
1. Addison Daniels, Springfield
2. Jazmyn Bennett, Westville
Adriana Payne, Creve Coeur
5 & 6 Years:
1. Chesney Russell, Morris
2. McKenzie Cook, Metamora
7 & 8 Years:
1. Crystal Straker, Creve Coeur
2. Carmen Valencia, Shobonier
9 & 10 Years:
1. Sierra Eigenmann, New Berlin
2. Callan Russell, Morris
11 & 12 Years:
1. Zoe Nielson, Springfield
2. Abigail Arient, Lockport
1. Samantha Crist, Atwood
2. Erica Edge, Riverton
1. Tere Lynn Russell
2. Channing Fullaway, Athens