June 15, 2024

Earlier Ag Day at State Fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — This year’s Illinois State Fair will feature some changes in the typical days some events will be held in addition to new theme and discount days.

Agriculture Day, which was held for many years on Tuesday during fair week, is moved to Friday, Aug. 11.

The move is to allow more livestock exhibitors and youth in agriculture participants to be on the grounds to celebrate the state’s top industry.

The move to the first Friday will also help minimize the impact of school starting for some districts.

The Governor’s Sale of Champions, previously held on Tuesdays, will be moved to Wednesday, Aug. 16, to coincide with Governor’s Day.

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

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 kick-off activities and the annual Twilight Parade.

A new theme day, “Twosday,” will feature $2 admission for 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.”

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

• Thursday, Aug. 10 — County Fairs and Horse Racing Day.

• Friday, Aug. 11 — Agriculture Day.

• Saturday, Aug. 12 — Kids Day.

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

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

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

• Wednesday, Aug. 16 — Governor’s Day.

• Thursday, Aug. 17 — Republican Day.

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

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

• Sunday, Aug. 20 — Family Day.

Tom Doran

Tom C. Doran

Field Editor