New and exciting things are planned for the 2016 Illinois State Fair Preview Night on Thursday, August 11th. Here are five things you need to know:
New Time for Twilight Parade: 5:30pm
Each year the Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade marches through the streets of the Capital City to proudly announce the opening of this annual 10-day showcase. This year the festivities will begin a half hour earlier. The parade will step off from Ninth Street and North Grand Avenue at 5:30pm. As always, the parade will travel down Ninth Street to Peoria Road, then north on Peoria Road to Eleventh Street, and directly through the Main Gate and on to the Grandstand.
Gates Open to Public at 4pm
Some of the best spots to view the Twilight parade are just inside the main gate, next to the Giant Slide on Main Street. However, those hoping to get a spot inside the fairgrounds to view the Twilight Parade will not be able to enter the fairgrounds until 4pm. Security will be posted at all gates throughout the day to enforce this new policy. Following the parade, the Main Gate will be closed to pedestrian traffic so the public is encouraged to utilize nearby Gate 2 or Gate 12.
Discount Admission & Parking
This year, fairgoers will be charged a nominal admission and parking fee to attend Preview Night festivities inside the fairgrounds. Adults will be charged $5 at the gate; seniors age 60 and over will be charged $2 at the gate; and children 12 and under will receive free gate admission.
All cars parked on the grounds will be charged $5. To accommodate additional parking needs on Preview Night (8/11) and on the weekends, the Illinois State Fair will have an additional lot off Taintor Road for the public to utilize.
This year Preview Night will offer a true preview of the 2016 Illinois State Fair. Starting at 7:30pm, or immediately following the Twilight Parade, the Illinois State Fair will provide a fun and entertaining program on the Grandstand stage that gives fairgoers an inside look at the 2016 fair. Join Andi Brooks (104.5 WFMB) and Sam Madonia (AM Springfield) as they introduce you to all the new and fun programs, exhibits, and food concoctions you’ll experience over the next ten days.
FREE Concert & Autographs!
It would not be a truepreview of the Illinois State Fair without a concert. That’s why this year the Illinois State Fair will present a concert on the Grandstand stage featuring The Chicago 6! They may be known for their Super Bowl winning performance on the football field, but tonight you can expect Dan Hampton, Otis Wilson and Steve McMichael of the 1985 Chicago Bears to make the start of the Illinois State Fair one to remember. As an added bonus, these Super Bowl champions will also be featured in the Twilight Parade, and they will hold a FREE autograph session after the concert as fireworks fill the sky. All of the Grandstand activities on Preview Night are included in the cost of admission.
The Illinois State Fair runs August 11 – August 21 in Springfield, IL.