DU QUOIN, Ill. — One of the main headlines coming out the Du Quoin State Fair Aug. 23-Sept. 2 is the Grandstand lineup, including country artists Wynonna Judd on Aug. 25, and Restless Heart and Shenandoah on Aug. 27.
There’s also Nashville-based LANCO on Aug. 28, and Whitey Morgan on Aug. 29.
There’s a gospel night with Christian music star Matthew West performing Aug. 26, .as well as plenty of rock ‘n’ roll with the All-American Rejects on Aug. 24.
“We have been working with management companies to ensure we could bring the best entertainers available to Du Quoin,” said Josh Gross, Du Quoin State Fair manager, in a statement.
Gross is the latest fair manager running the Du Quoin fairgrounds, off U.S. 51 north of Carbondale. He formerly worked as the Perry County clerk, a store manager and financial adviser.
The Southern Illinois-based state fair has been in operation since 1923. That’s when William R. Hayes bought an old coal strip mine next to his 30-acre tract and began building the fairgrounds to match the quality of the Illinois State Fair.
Hayes built a park-like setting that boasted planting of 1,400 trees, a grandstand, barns — the first one still is standing and in use — and a horse track.
What fairgoers enjoy today is a 1,200-acre fair complex with an 18,000-seat grandstand, a track to host horses, race cars and motorcycles, 12 lakes and 30 miles of black-topped roads.
Here’s what else to expect at the Du Quoin fair:
- Admissions and parking — Admission to the fair is free, but there’s a cost for some ticketed grandstand events and parking. Parking fees range from $10 to $15 daily depending on location.
- Harness racing — Set for the first weekend of the fair only on Aug. 23 and 24, admission to the races is free at the Grandstand. Racing starts at 7 p.m. Aug. 23, and at noon Aug. 24.
- Hours — The fairgrounds will be open weekdays from 2 p.m. to midnight and weekends and Labor Day from 10 a.m. to midnight. The carnival hours are weekdays 4 to 10 p.m. and weekends and Labor Day from noon to 11 p.m. Kiddie Land closes 30 minutes prior to carnival closing.
- Camping — More than 1,000 sites with electric and water are available on a first-come, first-served basis and no reservations are required. There also are bathhouses and a dump station. Cost is $25 a night.
- Information — Duquoinstatefair.net or call 618-542-1515.