More Illinois county fairs closing their gates
Nearly a dozen county fairs in Illinois have been forced to cancel because of COVID-19 impacts and health precautions.
Ken Tyrrell, President of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs, tells Brownfield Governor Pritzker’s new Restore Illinois plan to reopen the state has left many factors in limbo.
“We are all hoping to have a fair season this year. I am not 100% that will happen, but I think most fair boards are trying to think positively and hopefully it will happen.”
He says the decision by county fair boards to cancel events is not easy considering the agricultural education, community support and economic benefits county fairs produce.
“County fairs in the state of Illinois return $170 million+ in tax revenue back to the state of Illinois every year and I’m not sure many people realize that.”
Tyrell confirms that the Macon, DuPage, Williamson, Clark (Martinsville Ag Fair), Macoupin, Pike, Jasper, Sangamon and Greene county fairs have been cancelled with some fair boards considering rescheduling options. Facebook posts from the Montgomery County and Moultrie-Sullivan fairs indicate they have cancelled as well.
Tyrrell says inquiries about the status of a specific county fair should be directed to that county fair’s board and that many boards are posting updates on their respective websites and social media accounts.
Interview with Ken Tyrrell