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Kids really dig Illinois State Fair

Noah Schafer (14) of Petersburg, IL and Alyvia Myers (14) of Albany, IN couldn’t have been prouder with “Cookie Monster,” an overall award winner.
by Doug Bardwell -

The Illinois State Fair wrapped up Sunday with headliners Robin Thicke/MAGIC! performing in the grandstand. They were preceded by Steely Dan on Friday night and Jake Owen/Parmalee/Cadillac 3 on Saturday. But, as popular as these acts were with teens and adults, the real winners of this year’s fair may have been the kids.

No matter where you went, there were activities for kids of all ages. From fishing to creating your own artwork, to face painting, to archery lessons and BB gun practice; there were activities for the younger set throughout the fair. Kids Korner had a full program of events scheduled each day from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The livestock competitions gave youngsters a time to shine and many went home with ribbons and a sense of pride in their accomplishments. Noah Schafer (14) of Petersburg, IL and Alyvia Myers (14) of Albany, IN couldn’t have been prouder with “Cookie Monster,” an overall award winner.

The midway was also full of rides, just right-sized for the younger set and the young at heart. Ride operators all seemed to be attuned to working with youngsters and were cheerful as well as helpful to assure their safety.

[Click here for slideshow of all attractions at this years fair.]

If you missed it, here are dates for the Illinois State Fair in coming years:

August 13 – 23, 2015
August 11 – 21, 2016
August 10 – 20, 2017
August 9 – 19, 2018
August 8 – 18, 2019
August 13 – 23, 2020

Mark them on your calendar and plan to bring the entire family next year. They’ll love you for it.

If you go:

Illinois State Fair Grounds

801 Sangamon Ave.

Springfield, IL

Recommended overnight accommodations:

Just a five minute drive to the fairgrounds, we stayed at Quality Inn & Suites; 3442 Freedom Drive; Springfield, IL 62704 (217.787.2250). It was a straight shot to the fairground and couldn’t have been easier to get there.

Quality Inn is one of the type hotels we like to use: good value for the price, park conveniently outside your room, a pool and spa to relax, and good speed, free Internet. The room was quite comfortable with a good sized table where I edited photos, a couple firm, comfortable beds, refrigerator and coffee service in room. [Room photos]

That sums up all the comforts I need for a good night’s stay when I’m on the road. Friendly front staff at the desk and breakfast before you leave, why spend more? Lots of local shopping within a short walking distance and close to many of Springfield’s attractions.

For more information on Springfield, Illinois, check in with the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau at

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