Springfield, Ill. (WCIA)
The 162nd Illinois State Fair kicked off Thursday in Springfield.
Governor J.B. Pritzker welcomed everyone at the main entrance to the fair grounds. This year’s fair is his first as governor.
Gov. Pritzker said the following 10 days provide a moment to recognize and appreciate the 72,000 farm operations scattered across the state.
“Illinois’ strength is grounded in agriculture,” Gov. Pritzker said. “Our state government is committed to serving as a partner for our rural communities… to make sure that agriculture remains an essential part of our future as it has been to our history.”
The evening kicked off with a 5k run around the fair grounds and was shortly followed by the annual Twilight Parade. This year’s parade included 70 units along a 1.2 mile stretch. Firetrucks, tractors, floats, and high school marching bands all made their way down the line. Former Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee served as grand marshal.
“This is a tradition,” said state fair manager, Kevin Gordon. “There’s a lot of times people think we just work for 11 days, but this takes the entire year.”
The fair dates are August 8th-18th. For tickets click HERE.