Governor Quinn Opens Du Quoin State FairDU QUOIN - Governor Pat Quinn marched in the Friday night parade that opened the Du Quoin State Fair.
The parade led by Grand Marshal Jeannine Baxter had more than 110 entries, making it one of the largest opening night parades in recent memory. Baxter has worked for the fair the past 25 years and was selected to lead the parade because ofher commitment and dedication to the 92-year-old fair. The theme of the August 22nd - September 1st fair is "Love A Fair."
The grandstand entertainment opens tonight with the legendary rock group Foreigner. Other major grandstand attractions include Kenny Rogers on Aug. 24; Travis Tritt on Aug. 25; John Henninger Band on Aug. 26; USA Championship Wrestling on Aug. 27; .38 Special on Aug. 28; Rodney Atkins on Aug. 29; and KC & The Sunshine Band on Aug. 30. Free acts on the fairgrounds include 92 different bands and musical groups playing in both the beer tent and free entertainment tent.
Harness racing is also scheduled this Saturday and Sunday. The USAC Silver Crown Series auto race will be held Aug. 31 and the ARCA Car Series race Sept. 1.
All vendor space at the fair was leased out early this year with a number of new vendors on hand to serve fairgoers. Added to the fair menu this year is a deep fried horseshoe, a version of the delicacy created in Springfield with a special Du Quoin State Fair twist.
The Du Quoin State Fairgrounds was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. The fairgrounds started as a private horse racing track developed by William R. Hayes in 1923. It featured a half-mile track, grandstand and horse stables. Hayes wanted the fairgrounds to be like the ideal southern horse farm, complete with grand entrances, long drives and a mansion, so he hired St. Louis architect Oliver W. Stiegemeyer in the 1940s to design almost every building. The result is an Art Deco style of architecture throughout the fairgrounds.
For more information about the Du Quoin State Fair, visit www.agr.state.il.us/dq/.
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