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Illinois Department of Agriculture implements admission fee to "reduce red ink" at the southern Illinois state fair.

July 1, 2016

2 Min Read

If you’re headed to the Du Quoin State Fair this year, it’ll cost you a little more.

In an effort to maintain sustainability, organizers of the fair announced today the establishment of a minimal admission fee for the 2016 Du Quoin State Fair. Adult admissions will be $2; children under the age of 13 will be admitted free. In addition, the fair will introduce new theme days which will give select fairgoers free admission to the fairgrounds on specific days. College students get in free Aug. 26; veterans on Aug. 28; seniors on Aug. 31; and first responders on Sept. 4.

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“We must maintain fiscal responsibility at all times,” said State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. “Even with the implementation of an admission fee, the Du Quoin State Fair remains the most inexpensive state fair in the Midwest. Our goal is to remain an affordable, family friendly event.”

In addition to charging a $2 adult admission fee, fair organizers have adjusted camping fees, renegotiated contracts, and brought in new fair sponsors. Similar actions were taken at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

“We all recognize that this event is vital to the southern Illinois economy,” said Ag Director Raymond Poe. “In this day and age, all levels of government must be strong fiscal stewards. With that said, in order to maintain the longevity of this fair, the Department has implemented a series of changes to help reduce the red ink associated with the Du Quoin State Fair.”

Parking rates for the 2016 Du Quoin State Fair will remain unchanged.  All public parking inside the fairgrounds will be $12 per day and all public parking outside the grounds will be $7 per day. In addition, seasonal parking passes can be purchased for $30.

“After conversations with the Department of Agriculture staff, I can tell you these were not easy decisions for the state of Illinois to make,” said Guy Alongi, mayor of the City of Du Quoin. “At the end of the day, both the state and the city recognize the role the Du Quoin State Fair plays in our local economy. It is my hope that these changes keep the fair in southern Illinois, improving and moving forward, for years to come.”

According to an economic impact study conducted by the University of Illinois in 2000, the Du Quoin State Fair has an economic impact of $6 million. This includes $2 million for wages and salaries and more than $500,000 in sales tax revenue. Gordon says they plan to conduct another economic impact study this year.

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