State Fair Kicks off With Twilight Parade


Fair season is beginning to wind down, but the big one is just getting started. Thursday was the first day of the Illinois State Fair and each year the Twilight Parade is the event to kick things into gear.

For longtime parade goers like Angela Hirstein, the parade is a time honored tradition. 

"I bring my whole family I've got my sister in law my husband, my two girls my grand baby its a family affair we do it every year," said Hirstein. Each year she gets there about an hour early to make sure her family has the best seats.

"There're a lot of floats, you've got a lot of your veterans and a lot of stuff for the kids of course the candy, gotta have the candy for the kids," Hirstein added.

Bob Flider is the newly appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the agency responsible for the State Fair. Flider started in February and says this parade wouldn't have happened without the work of his talented staff.

"People have been lining up more than an hour in advance they're looking forward to this every year," said Flider. "We're having a tough year with the drought this year but we know next year could be a bumper crop type year. The nice thing about the fair is it gives us an opportunity to kind of say hey lets celebrate agriculture, lets have a good time and maybe take our mind off of it for just a little bit."

State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick couldn't agree more.

"It's such a great parade, its not just a great parade for the state fair but its a great parade for the city of Springfield too," said Bliefnick.

The Department of Ag recently conducted an economic impact study

45-million dollar economic impact so its not just about corn dogs and lemon shakeups its also great for the state of Illinois its great for tourism and it just helps build the economy and we're happy to be a part of that engine."

For more details about what you can expect at the Illinois State Fair, head to their web site:

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