It must be close to the end of summer – Illinois' second state fair has begun. Patrick Buchen, hired this year to manage the Illinois State Fair, also oversees the Du Quoin State Fair, which began Friday and continues through Labor Day. Anytime somebody questions why there is a Du Quoin State Fair, the answer has something to do with the economic impact on Southern Illinois.

“Because they don't have some of the activities (or) population that we have within a 150-mile radius (as is the case) of Springfield, I think the economic dollar down here is compounded and is more important to this area,” says Buchen. “We've got a great number of free things after you get on the fairgrounds. Seven dollars for a carload, and load as many as you want in it!”

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Grandstand entertainment this year includes Trace Adkins, Collective Soul, American Authors and Montgomery Gentry.

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