Illinois State Fair canceled due to COVID-19

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Junior Livestock Expo to be held in September, 4-H General Project Show will proceed virtually

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Pritzker will issue an Executive Order canceling the Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs this year.

The Indiana State Fair was canceled earlier this month.

“The Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs have been some of my favorite opportunities to celebrate our agricultural communities and the residents who make Illinois so exceptional,” Pritzker said. “But it’s because the fairs are such a treasure to so many thousands of people that my administration, like those of our neighboring Midwestern states, must make the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 State Fairs in light of the risk posed by COVID-19. This is the right choice based on guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and other experts: we have to prioritize keeping our people safe. Our state fairs are unmatched across the nation, and I look forward to gathering again to showcase the best of Illinois when it is safe to do so.”

Due to the cancelations of the fairs, the Department of Agriculture will host a Junior Livestock Expo in Springfield in September, for Illinois exhibitors ages 8-21 to show their animals. The 4-H General Project Show will take place virtually, with premiums and ribbons to be distributed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Details regarding entry and operations are forthcoming.

Last year, the Illinois State Fair set records for the Grandstand and near record numbers for attendance. Officials were optimistic 2020 would rival the success.

The State Fair was previously canceled from 1942-1945 due to World War II, as the fairgrounds were used as a U.S. Army Airforce supply depot. The Fair was also cancelled in 1862 due to the Civil War and was replaced in 1893 by the World’s Columbia Expo in Chicago.

This will mark the first time the Du Quoin State Fair has been canceled since the State took over the grounds in 1986.

Anyone who purchased an Illinois State Fair mega pass, admission booklet or parking pass should contact the State Fair office at 217-782-6661 or email agr.fairinfo@illinois.gov.

The 2021 Illinois State Fair will run from August 12th-August 22nd. The 2021 Du Quoin State Fair is scheduled for August 27th-September 6th.

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