DU QUOIN, IL (KFVS) - For almost two months, Barney and Shirley Beard join the state fair neighborhood.
"We meet a lot of friends each year," Shirley Beard said. "A lot of them we don't see but one time a year. And it's like seeing family again."
They've been coming for more than 60 years.
"We've been married 61 years," Barney Beard said.
However, his memories date back even further.
"Well, I'm 79 years old and the first time I remember coming, my mother and father brought a lunch and we stayed one day at the Du Quoin State Fair," Barney Beard said. "I was probably about 8 years old."
So, what keeps them coming back?
"Lot of memories," Barney Beard said. "Good memories. No bad memories. Lot of good times."
The couple says they make new ones every day here at the fair.
"We get on the golf cart and buzz all around this place," Shirley Beard said. "We like the horse racing best of all."
They've witnessed history.
"I was here in 1949 when Ted Horn turned his car over and was killed right here at this track," Barney Beard said.
They say sharing time with family is the best part.
"They'll be here tonight and we have an ice cold watermelon waiting," Barney Beard said.
Beard says they aren't the only ones who come out for the fair. They say they have make friends from all over the United States.