2020 Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs cancelled; Jr livestock shows planned for September
The 2020 Illinois State Fair and DuQuoin State Fair have been cancelled due to risks posed by COVID-19.
Governor JB Pritzker says cancelling was a difficult decision, but the right one based on guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and other experts.
Illinois Director of Agriculture Jerry Costello tells Brownfield IDOA will host a Junior Livestock Expo in Springfield in September for Illinois exhibitors ages 8-21 to show their animals.
“These kids have worked so hard for a long time to care for these animals. They look forward to showing their animals over the summer. This is something that we thought we would be able to salvage out of the cancellation of the fairs.”
He says they remain cognizant of the economic impact the cancellations may have, but public health is the top priority.
“If you look at the last study that I believe was done in 2013, there was approximately an $84 million annual economic impact from the fairs.”
The fairs combined attracted more than 600,000 visitors in 2019 and the Illinois State Fair had near record attendance last year.
The State Fair was previously cancelled from 1942-1945 due to World War II, as the fairgrounds were used as a U.S. Army Airforce supply depot. The Fair was also cancelled in 1862 due to the Civil War and was replaced in 1893 by the World’s Columbia Expo in Chicago.
This is the first time the DuQuoin State Fair has been cancelled since the state took over the grounds in 1986.
The 2021 Illinois State Fair is set to run August 12th-22nd and the 2021 DuQuoin State Fair is scheduled for August 27th – September 6th.
Interview with Director Costello