SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Count on some old-time favorites for some old-fashioned fun at the annual Illinois State Fair.

Running Aug. 8-18 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds off Sangamon Avenue in Springfield, these two weeks are filled with live music, a midway carnival, racing, tons of food and a new rendition of the butter cow.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Daily Schedule

Thursday, Aug. 8 — Preview Night: While the Twilight Parade steps off at 5:30 p.m. from Lincoln Park, the free concert at the Rising Star Stage starts at 7 p.m., and so do discounted carnival rides.

Friday, Aug. 9 — County Fairs and Horse Racing Day.

Saturday, Aug. 10 — Kids Day: Kids 12 and under get in free.

Sunday, Aug. 11 — Veterans and Gold Star Families Day: Veterans and their families are admitted to the grounds for free. There are discounted ride passes for families of military veterans, too.

Monday, Aug. 12 — Senior and Scout Day: Fair visitors age 60 and older are admitted to the fairgrounds for free.

Tuesday, Aug. 13 — Agriculture Day: This is a discount admission day. The program includes the Governor’s Sale of Champions and the Commodity Auction.

Wednesday, Aug. 14 — Governor’s Day.

Thursday, Aug. 15 — Republican Day.

Friday, Aug. 16 — First Responder Day: All police officers, firefighters and EMTs who show their badge will be admitted for free.

Saturday, Aug. 17 — Park District Conservation Day.

Sunday, Aug. 18 — Family Day: The general admission price is lowered to $5 per adult.

Grandstand Shows

Already this year’s concert lineup has smashed the record sales with $1.1 million in tickets in April.

That means 28,000-plus tickets sold over that first weekend. Ticket prices range across four categories.

Why? Take a look at this lineup:

  • Friday, Aug. 9 — Montgomery Gentry.
  • Saturday, Aug. 10 — Bad Company with Foghat.
  • Sunday, Aug. 11 — Dan + Shay.
  • Monday, Aug. 12 — The Traveling Salvation Show: A Tribute to Neil Diamond free concert.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 13 — Why Don’t We.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 14 — Pentatonix with Rachel Platten.
  • Thursday, Aug. 15 — Old Dominion.
  • Friday, Aug.16 — Snoop Dogg with Dogg Pound, Warren G, DJ Quik, Twista and Do or Die.
  • Saturday, Aug. 17 – Shinedown.
  • Sunday, Aug. 18 — Reba McEntire with Rachel Wammack.

Tickets may be purchased through ticketmaster.com and best-available tickets may be purchased in person at the Illinois State Fair box office, or by phone at 217-782-1979.

The website is www2.illinois.gov/statefair.

Karen Binder can be reached at kbinder@agrinews-pubs.com or 618-534-0614. Follow her on Twitter: @AgNews_Binder.


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