The Illinois State Fair will go on, even without a state budget.
Illinois Agriculture Director Phillip Nelson says vendors will get their money for being there despite the state budget situation currently. And, Nelson says, so will the grandstand acts. "Normally, they're paid after or the day of," says Nelson. "We've worked through all of those contracts and how we're going to deal with that. We have an imprest account that basically is somewhat of a loan that we use to pay those performers. And we've done that every year, not just this year."
Click here for summary
The theme this year will focus on agriculture, and many changes will reflect that. Patrick Buchen, State Fair Manager, says one change you'll notice right away should be recognized by its red or green color.
"You'll see a lot of wonderful farm equipment around here," says Buchen. "It killed my soul to not see farm machinery everywhere. I think the neatest thing you can see is how technology [in tractors] has changed."
Buchen says there also will be four family picnic areas for the first time. And, the Governor's Sale of Champions will be moved back to the Coliseum building, in hopes it will be a bigger deal to the youth participating.
There's also agricultural tours along with many of the fair favorites. The Illinois State Fair starts August 13.