DU QUOIN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ agriculture director said plans are underway for a state fair in southern Illinois after the annual event in Du Quoin was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director Jerry Costello II said the manager of the Du Quoin State Fair and his team are “going full-bore just like they would any other year,” the Benton News reported. The fair is scheduled for Aug. 27 to Sept. 6.
Other events also are being planned. They include the Street Machine Nationals, which is scheduled for June 4-6.
“The fairgrounds, and the fair, it is such an economic engine for southern Illinois,” Costello added.
Costello, a former state legislator who is from southern Illinois, said Gov. J.B. Pritzker is also eager to see the return of both the fair in Du Quoin and the Illinois State Fair, which is scheduled for Aug. 12 to 22 at the fairgrounds in Springfield.
Costello said people may notice some changes at this year’s fair compared to past years, particularly at concerts and Grandstand events that typically “pack in a lot of people.”
Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi said he’s working with the department to “make this fair work” because of its importance to the city and the region.
“But I think people will come back,” he said. “I think they are dying to get out.”