GRAFTON — The 35th Annual Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair drew a massive crowd on Saturday, featuring 32 outdoor educational activities and fishing opportunities in trout and bluegill ponds. The event, which ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., was hosted at Pere Marquette State Park and organized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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Park ranger Scott Isringhausen, the urban fishing coordinator with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, described the fair as a “really big event.”

“I was very pleased with how things went this year,” Isringhausen said. “I love it every year.”

Isringhausen noted that his favorite aspect of the fair is witnessing attendees’ “awesome smiles.”

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“It takes 250 volunteers to have the fishing fair here,” he said. “I am so proud of the volunteers and all our displays and the sponsors. Some say this is the biggest fishing event in the state and others say the biggest in the Midwest.”

This year’s attendance was among the best ever, according to Isringhausen.

The fair enjoyed significant support from dozens of local businesses and volunteers. Premier sponsors included the Wood River Refinery, Farm and Home Supply, State Farm, and Walmart.

In addition to fishing activities, the fair featured entertainment for children, including Camo the Clown, Twisted Cat Outdoors, the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, and performances by Les and Keaton Standpiper.

The Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair continues to be a major attraction, drawing in families and fishing enthusiasts from across the region.

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