Best time to go to Midwest

Illinois State Fair 2024

Nothing can beat a good ol' fair in the Midwest

Dates: August 8–18, 2024

Illinois State Fair
Illinois State Fair
Illinois State Fair
Illinois State Fair
Illinois State Fair
Illinois State Fair
Illinois State Fair

The Illinois State Fair is an annual event that unfolds over 11 days every August in Springfield. From dawn till midnight, the sprawling Fairgrounds bustle with energy, offering concerts, spectacles, carnival rides, horse races, a parade, and more. Visitors can explore the diverse array of exhibits or indulge in delectable treats at the food stalls. The fair is famous for its corndogs and butter cow sculptures. Dating back to its inception in 1853, the Illinois State Fair is distinguished as one of the earliest fairs in the United States, continuously evolving to provide an unforgettable experience for all who attend.

Twilight Parade

The Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade takes place every year in Springfield, symbolizing the beginning of the fair. The procession starts at Lincoln Park in the north and finishes by the Main Gate of the fairgrounds.

Carnival

From the exhilarating DiskO to the classic Carousel, the Carnival Midway boasts a variety of rides and attractions suitable for all ages. Meanwhile, Adventure Village offers its own array of family-friendly delights, from the Jumping Jumbos to the Mini Indy. The fair's iconic Giant Slide is a beloved favorite adorned with the historic Route 66 logo. With tickets priced at $4 per person per slide, it's an adventure not to be missed.

Additionally, the Mega and Jumbo Passes offer unlimited rides throughout the eleven-day fair. Priced at $80 through July 31, the Mega Pass grants access to the Main Carnival Midway and Adventure Village, while the Jumbo Pass, at $90, includes the iconic Giant Slide as well.

Music Concerts

From country crooners to rock legends, the lineup promises something for every musical taste. Marking the calendars for Friday, August 9, Keith Urban takes the stage alongside Mackenzie Porter, followed by the iconic Mötley Crüe on Saturday, August 10. On Sunday, August 11, immerse in the soulful tunes of Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, accompanied by Ashley McBryde. As the week unfolds, attendees shouldn't miss performances by Jordan Davis, the Jonas Brothers, The Smashing Pumpkins with PVRIS, and Miranda Lambert with Gavin Adcock. All of these performances start at 8 pm.

Ticket prices vary for each concert, ranging from $38 to $165, depending on the ticket option. Admission to the Grandstand concerts is not included in the ticket prices and children aged three and older require an entry ticket.

Illinois Department of Agriculture Tent

From 10 am to 8 pm daily (closing at 6 pm on the final Sunday, August 18), the Illinois Department of Agriculture Tent serves as a vibrant hub of activity, celebrating the state's number one industry under the theme "Harvest the Fun." Visitors are invited to explore and indulge in the rich offerings, from apple cider slushies to fresh produce, while basking in the welcoming ambiance of the front porch. The tent showcases a variety of attractions, including the Illinois Specialty Growers Farm Stand, the 3rd Annual Artisan Market, and the engaging AgVenture Kids Area, where little ones can interact with stuffed toy cows.

Throughout the day, free entertainment abounds, with highlights such as the Beagle Brigade and Meet the Farmer sessions. For those seeking a taste of Illinois' finest, the Illinois Product Store boasts an array of locally made goods, available August 12-18. Excitement awaits with the chance to spin the wheel for prizes, engage in craft activities, and snag giveaways while supplies last, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Admission and Parking

The Fairgrounds are open August 8-18 from 7 am to midnight. Children aged 12 and under enter for free, while adults aged 13 to 59 can join the fun for $10 on Fridays and Saturdays or take advantage of discount days for a reduced fee of $5. Seniors aged 60 and above are welcomed with a special rate of $3. Parking is available at daily rates of $5, or a seasonal pass at $40 for unlimited access. Plus, the fair offers free and discount admission days. For those planning multiple visits, admission booklets offer significant savings.

Practical info

How much is admission to the Illinois State Fair?

The ​daily admission rates for adults (13–59) are $10 (Fridays & Saturdays) and $5 (all other days), $3 for seniors (60+), and free for children (0–12). Show more

How much is parking at Illinois State Fair?

The parking rates are $5 per day, or $40 for seasonal parking (Gate 6, Lot 18 infield). Purchase by phone (217) 782-6661, or inside Emmerson Building. Show more

Where is the Illinois State Fair held?

801 E Sangamon Ave, Springfield, Illinois 62702 Show more

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