Illinois State Fair

Illinois Farm Bureau

Food and drink vendors at this year’s Illinois State Fair say fewer people lined up for things like corn dogs and lemon shake-ups. That fits with an official report of declining overall attendance.

    

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, political rhetoric at the Illinois State Fair.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

In an effort to deliver a message of unity in the Republican party, both statewide and nationally, Gov. Bruce Rauner offered a rare show of support for the Commander in Chief at Wednesday's GOP rally in Springfield. 

Here's a great weekend project with the kids just in time for the Illinois State Fair...

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

The Illinois State Fair kicks off next week with the annual Twilight parade on Thursday, August 9th. The fair will run until the following Sunday, August 19th. 

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

The Illinois State Fair in Springfield is one week away and among the usual annual offerings is a new effort to raise awareness of community service projects.

Katherine Johnson / CC BY 2.0 / FLICKR

Planning for the state fair is in full swing, but Illinois has yet to pay all the costs for last year’s fair.

The state still owes the city of Springfield around $109,000 for the fire protection it provided to the fairgrounds in the fiscal year that ended last summer. The same amount for the current fiscal year is due by June.

Springfield budget director Bill McCarty says the fire department will continue to provide protection regardless, but late payments do present challenges.

The Illinois Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for governor are spending more time campaigning against the incumbent than each other. And they’re not pulling any punches.

Craft Brew glasses on tasting board
theNerdPatrol / Flickr

Several breweries from across the state will compete during a new attraction at this year's Illinois State Fair. 

The coliseum at the state fair with flags waving above it.
Katherine Johnson / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

The Illinois State Fair opens in one week. Years of budget cuts and deferred maintenance have led to a series of problems at the fairgrounds. But officials say they’ll be ready.

Ferris wheel
flickr/Katherine Johnson

Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

The coliseum at the state fair with flags waving above it.
Katherine Johnson / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

Amanda Vinicky

 Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, has gotten a lot of traction with his push for term limits. Voters seem to love the idea just as much as legislators hate it, even if the governor's plan doesn't seem all that practical.

flickr/Katheerine Johnson

Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis:

Amanda Vinicky

  Jesse White’s days as the Illinois Secretary of State may be coming to a close.

Amanda Vinicky and Brian Mackey
Network Knowledge

Host Amanda Vinicky, Brian Mackey, and Dave Dahl (WTAX) discuss what went on when the legislature returned for the Illinois State Fair.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

albatross
Michael Sale / Flickr.com/michaelsale (cc-by-nc)

Republicans and Democrats gathered in Springfield this week for party meetings and rallies at the Illinois State Fair. Republicans mostly avoided mentioning presidential nominee Donald Trump, preferring to focus on Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. Democrats, meanwhile, were happy to embrace Madigan, and tried to tie Republicans into an embrace of Trump, too. Both parties are hoping the other side's top politicians will become an albatross around the necks of down-ballot candidates.

John Cullerton, Bruce Rauner and Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Can Democrats convince voters to see Donald Trump as an albatross around the neck of Illinois Republicans?

Amanda Vinicky

Speculation continues to swirl over who Democrats will put up to challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner in two years.

Bruce Rauner at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

In just a few years, one man has transformed the Illinois Republican Party from a perennial also-ran into a serious contender. Bruce Rauner been an agenda-setter, a shot-caller, and a rainmaker. And his party’s true believers couldn’t be happier.

Amanda Vinicky

Support for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump remains tepid among leaders of the Illinois Republican Party.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois Republicans rallied Wednesday at the state fair for Governor's Day -- so called because their party controls the governor's mansion. They spent some time talking about how to hold onto it two years from now, when the mansion will once again be up for grabs.

It may be unofficial, but the GOP is already committed to having Gov. Bruce Rauner as its nominee in 2018.

Who Democrats will put up to run against him is unclear. One oft-mentioned contender: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.

"Anybody here want that?" Congressman Rodney Davis, R-13 asked at the fair rally.

Amanda Vinicky

A new foundation has been created to raise money for Illinois State Fair infrastructure.  Questions have already been raised about how the private entity will intermingle with government.

Eric Mason, an 18-year-old Lanphier graduate, was recognized by the Illinois State Fair for overcoming incredible odds to become a high achiever.
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

After 163 years, the Illinois State Fair is always adding traditions. New this year is the Hometown Hero Award, recognizing people who "perform selfless acts, overcome incredible odds and reach milestone achievements."

The inaugural winner is a teenager Eric Mason.

Eric just graduated from Springfield's Lanphier High School. And on Saturday, he left to begin college at Stanford University. That means he won't be around to partake in the glory, like joining the Grand Marshal to lead the Illinois State Fair Parade on Thursday, that comes along with being the "hometown hero."

SJ-R

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Tim Landis.

Amanda Vinicky

 Gov. Bruce Rauner says he supports one of Illinois' top industries: Agriculture. But critics say a recent plan goes against his own assertion that he's a “strong advocate” for it.

Amanda Vinicky

Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin -- each collects private donations to help run their state fairs. But despite faulty infrastructure that will cost an estimated 180 million dollars to repair, Illinois does not.

It’s a windy day on the state fairgrounds in Springfield. Illinois' Director of Agriculture, Raymond Poe, laments a nearby building's crumbling roof.

"Agriculture represents about 25 percent of the economic value of the state of Illinois, all the way from farmers to exports. We need a place - and a high class place - to showcase our agriculture," he said.

If you're the parent of a Springfield student, you probably spent the winter holidays reminding your kid to study, or supervising homework projects. That's because this year, final exams began a week after students returned from winter break. District officials didn't plan it that way just to take all the fun out of Christmas.

Illinois Department of Agriculture

Musical acts for the state fair were paid up front while the artist who sculpted the fair’s iconic butter cow is still waiting for her check. Meanwhile, an agency that helps survivors of sexual assault is in danger of closing as it waits for funding. 

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