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