Improvements underway on Du Quoin State Fairgrounds

Free admission at IL State Fair

DU QUOIN, Ill. (KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Du Quoin State Fair announced improvement projects being made to the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds.

IDOA Director John Sullivan as well as Du Quoin State Fair Manager Josh Gross made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, June 12.

Ill. Dept. of Agriculture announcement

WATCH LIVE: Illinois Dept. of Agriculture to announce improvements to Du Quoin State Fairgrounds>> http://bit.ly/2Kevhib

Posted by KFVS-TV on Wednesday, June 12, 2019

They said improvements are underway to re-surface Main Street and the loop on the fairgrounds. Costs for the road improvements came in just over $350,000 and are being done by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

IDOT hopes to have the project completed by June 21.

In addition to the road improvements around the fairgrounds, minor structural work is being done on the grandstands and, later in 2019, the Southern Illinois Center will be getting a complete upgrade to the duct work.

“Road and infrastructure improvements on the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds were long overdue,” said John Sullivan, director of IDOA. “I want to thank our partners at IDOT for working collaboratively with us to reinvest in the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds. We are committed to making the Fairgrounds a great place for people to come every summer and we are committed to putting the resources needed into the fairgrounds knowing what a great economic impact the fair has on Perry and surrounding Counties.”

According to the state, the most recent economic study showed that the Du Quoin State Fair has an annual economic impact of $6 million, including $2 million for wages and salaries, and generates more than $500,000 in sales tax revenue.

State Rep. Terri Bryant issued the following statement on the announcement of $130,000 in grant funding for the repairs.

“For years, the people that I represent in Southern Illinois have been left behind when it comes to the State of Illinois investing resources in construction projects. The DuQuoin State Fairgrounds has multiple building and infrastructure needs. Today’s press conference by Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan reflects a positive and much-needed change in direction for Southern Illinois. My support for the ‘vertical’ capital bill in Springfield will mean $130,000 in funding for critical infrastructure projects at the fairgrounds in DuQuoin. The DuQuoin State Fair is a point of pride and an economic plus during the two-week fun of the fair. However, the State Fairgrounds hosts a large number of events other than the fair throughout the rest of the year that bring tourists and the dollars they spend when they get there. Investing in the future of the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds will ensure that the State Fair in late August and early September, and non-fair related events throughout the rest of the year will continue undeterred by falling-in roofs, leaky pipes, and other maintenance needs. Providing a world-class facility in the heart of Southern Illinois will mean weddings, conventions, and events like the Special Olympics softball tournament and the Street Machine Nationals will continue to happen and bring people and money to the region.”
State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro)

Admission prices to the fair dropped for 2019. It will now be free to walk through the gates. Parking will be $15 on the fairgrounds and $10 near the SIC.

The announcement comes on the heals of Gross being recently hired to be the Manager of the Du Quoin State Fair.

The 2019 Du Quoin State Fair is August 23 through September 2. The Twilight Parade will kick-off the annual fair Friday, Aug. 23.

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