February 27, 2024

Theme-day changes for State Fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — This year’s Illinois State Fair will feature changes in theme-day schedules, as well as a new theme day and discount days.

County Fairs and Horse Racing Day will start it all off on Thursday, Aug. 10, with gates opening at 7 a.m.

This change will provide a full day of horse racing, county fair celebrations, free entertainment, carnival rides, all of your favorite fair food, traditional kickoff activities and the annual Twilight Parade.

Agriculture Day moves to Friday, Aug.11, allowing for more livestock exhibitors and youth in agriculture participants to be on the grounds to celebrate the state’s No. 1 industry. The move to the first Friday will also help minimize the impact of school starting for some districts.

A new theme day, “Twosday,” will feature $2 admission for seniors and adults on Tuesday, Aug. 15.

To enhance this family-friendly promotion, North American Midway, the fair’s carnival operator, will also offer all rides at $2 each. This is in addition to honoring all Mega Passes and Jumbo Passes sold before and during the fair.

“We took a look at our theme days and saw a couple of ways we could enhance our fairgoers’ experience,” said Rebecca Clark, Illinois State Fair manager.

“From opening our gates earlier for a full day of horse racing to exposing more Illinoisans to our state’s No. 1 industry and offering affordable ways for families to enjoy the Illinois State Fair, our newly enhanced theme days will have something for everyone.”

The Governor’s Sale of Champions is also making the move to Governor’s Day, which will be Wednesday, Aug.16.

All fairgoers are encouraged to visit the Hall of Champions throughout the fair to visit with youth exhibitors and learn more about their prize-winning animals.

Here is the complete list of the 2023 Illinois State Fair theme and discount days:

• Thursday, Aug. 10 — County Fairs and Horse Racing Day; Twilight Parade to conclude the festivities.

• Friday, Aug. 11 — Agriculture Day.

• Saturday, Aug. 12 — Kids Day.

• Sunday, Aug. 13 — Veterans Day, with free admission for veterans and their families.

• Monday, Aug. 14 — Senior and Scout Day, with free admission for seniors and Scouts.

• Tuesday, Aug. 15 — “Twosday,” with $2 admission for adults and seniors.

• Wednesday, Aug. 16 — Governor’s Day, capped off by the Governor’s Sale of Champions.

• Thursday, Aug. 17 — Republican Day.

• Friday, Aug. 18 — First Responders and Healthcare Heroes Day, with free admission for first responders and healthcare workers with appropriate identification.

• Saturday, Aug. 19 — Park District Conservation Day.

• Sunday, Aug. 20 — Family Day.