The Illinois Farm Bureau is asking for the State Fair to be held one week earlier. Farm Bureau delegates meeting in Chicago passed a resolution requesting the change. Jamie Schaffer, president of the Stark County Farm Bureau, says the current dates in mid-August sometimes conflict with school, which prevents students from showing livestock.
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“With the kids showing livestock and stuff, if they’re in school then they can’t make the fair, and they come from all over, so that was the main reason,” he said. He says a change of dates would require time to enact, which is why the resolution anticipates that if a change does occur, it will be at least five years away.
Illinois Agriculture Director Bob Flider says he’s taking the suggestion seriously, but he makes a change sound unlikely. “There’s a feeling that the State Fair dates are traditional and it would be pretty monumental to move and change those dates,” he said.
Other obstacles include potential conflicts with county fairs across the state, and the ever-encroaching earlier start to the school year. Flider says he likes the idea of adjusting the school calendar instead, since it varies across the state anyway.
The State Fair traditionally begins on the second Friday of August and runs 10 days. In 2013, it’ll be Aug. 9-18.