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   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - State agricultural officials and some lawmakers say private money could help make major repairs at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
   State Sen. Andy Manar has filed legislation that would allow the Department of Agriculture to form a state fairground foundation to solicit private money to upgrade and repair fairgrounds in Springfield and DuQuoin.
   State agriculture Director Bob Flider tells the State Journal-Register in Springfield that he has a list of projects estimated to cost $30 million, but not enough money for them all.
   Big projects like roof replacements and road repaving are managed through the state's Capital Development Board, but Flider says fairground repairs compete with other statewide infrastructure needs.
   The idea comes six years after a power failure shut down the Springfield fairgrounds for nearly three months.
 
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois State Fair attendees will be seeing new features as well as old-standbys at the 10-day event that begins Aug. 8.

The fried novelty of the year will be Oreo cookies encased in cookie dough and battered and then deep-fried.

Spokesman Jeff Squibb says the fair's $5.5 million operations budget increased slightly compared to last year. Admission prices will stay flat, with adults paying $7 and $3 for children.

The Budweiser Clydesdales are a new daily presence at the fair, with a daily parade at 4 p.m.

The music series lineup includes evening performances by Toby Keith and Kip Moore, Ke$ha, John Mayer and Journey.

Attendees are encouraged to record videos reciting the Gettysburg Address to help celebrate the fair's 150th anniversary.

The fair runs through Aug. 18.

 

Published in Local News
The lineup of bands that have agreed to perform at the Illinois State Fair is increasing again.

Fair officials announced that classic rock groups Styx and REO Speedwagon will play on August 10. Country acts, the Band Perry, Billy Currington, Gary Allan, and Thompson Square will also play at the fairgrounds. The state fair runs from August 8-18.
Published in Local News

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