SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Last year’s Illinois State Fair set several records, and organizers hope the momentum will continue for the upcoming event.

The fair will be Aug. 7-17 with an award-wining combination of agriculture and entertainment.

The fair will host more than 8,700 contests, ranging from livestock and horticulture competitions to judged art shows and culinary showdowns.

Grandstand entertainment on tap for this year includes American Idols live, Pitbull, Florida Georgia Line, Boston, April Wine, Hunter Hayes, Steely Dan and Robin Thicke.

Daily themes will be Preview Night, Thursday, Aug. 7; County Fair and Horse Racing Day, Aug.8; City of Springfield/Local Officials Day, Aug. 9; Veterans Day, Aug. 10; Senior Citizens Day/Scout Day, Aug. 11; Agriculture Day, Aug. 12; Governor’s Day, Aug. 13; Republican Day, Aug. 14; Futures for Kids Day, Aug. 15; Park District Conservation Day, Aug. 16; and Family Day, Aug. 17.

The Governor’s Sale of Champions smashed seven records for prize-winning junior livestock last year.

The grand champion steer sold for $62,000 in 2013. Other records set last year were for the Land of Lincoln steer at $50,100, the grand champion barrow at $25,000, the Land of Lincoln barrow at $40,650, the Land of Lincoln wether at $19,100, the grand champion meat goat at $11,050 and the Land of Lincoln meat goat at $3,750.

Altogether, $222,650 was raised at the 2013 fair for the youngsters who exhibited the animals, most of whom plan to use the proceeds to help pay for college, as well as the state’s 4-H and FFA youth education programs.

In horse racing, Pq Three posted the fastest mile ever last year for a 2-year-old pacer. The horse, owned by Obermeier and Quaid Stables of Evergreen Park and driven by Mike Oosting, set the record with a winning time of 1 minute 50 seconds, eclipsing the former mark of 1:50.2 set in 2005 by Lucky’s Z Tam and Hot N Sport.

Gate and parking revenue was $1,530,676 in 2013, breaking the previous record set in 2012 of $1,513,884. North American Midway Entertainment, the fair’s carnival contractor, reported record gross receipts of $1.4 million last year, surpassing the $1.29 million it collected in 2012.

A total of 961,142 fairgoers passed through the gates in 2013, an increase of 5 percent — or 42,707 visitors — compared to the previous year when attendance was 918,435. Last year’s attendance was the highest since 2002, when an estimated 1.2 million people visited the fair.