Fairs and festivals return to Illinois as state moves to Phase 5 of reopening plan

Local News

MARTINSVILLE, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — On Friday, Illinois will move to Phase Five of their reopening plan which will allow the state to lift capacity limits on venues, restaurants and public gatherings.

Fair officials in Martinsville are excited to welcome families back to their 75 Annual Martinsville Agricultural Fair.

Last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most spring and summer events were cancelled but volunteers with the fair say they are looking forward to everyone’s return for their event.

“Not being able to have this last year was hard on the fair board, on the participants and the carnival, the food vendors and the community,” said Andy Cruse. “We all suffered last year right and it was a struggle to get through. We just hope people can come out and enjoy themselves and feel safe.”

As festivals and fairs get underway across the state, in nearby Crawford County, Illinois Madelyn Taylor, director for public health at the health department says they are ready to see their residents enjoying themselves again.

“We want all these festivals to happen. We want our community, we know how important they are to our community and people,” said Taylor. “They need this for their mental health as well. They’re ready to get back out there. Do things with their friends and family.”

Cruse says putting on events like this is all about the community.

“We do this for the community and for those children and to see those kids smile out on the track and to see them laugh and scream on the rides and just having a blast,” said Cruse. “We want everyone to come have fun and we feel we can offer a clean safe family environment.”

After a year of uncertainty many people who were at the fair say they were just excited to bring such a long standing tradition back to the community. The fair will offer carnival rides, flat track drags, harness racing, tractor pulls as well as a demolition derby.

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