You Don't Have to Break the Bank to Have Fun at State Fair


Springfield - This weekend the Illinois State Fair is a must stop destination for a lot of people in central Illinois, and carrying around $20 can go a long way, if you know where to look.

Before entering the fair gates, fairgoers will need to find a place to park, and Helen Harrington's parking is one of the cheapest at this year's state fair.

"I think that it costs enough to get in to the gate that I feel good about my $3," says Harrington.

To stretch your dollars, try to find places where you can explore the fair without spending a dime.

Conservation World's urban fishing pond is one of the most popular free events at the fair every year.

"There's no cost for this.  This is one of my favorite programs where the parents or grandparents come with the young anglers and I hope to excite both, not only the child, but the adult," says urban pond director Herb Drier.

It's a free event that parents like Jeff Wheatley can appreciate.
"It's expensive to come out here, you know, the rides get expensive, things like that, the food, and everything like that.  So it's nice to break it up a little bit, you come out here, you go through some of the buildings and different stuff you know," says Wheatley.

From there another fan favorite is the free FFA petting zoo.

"In today's economy, everything that's free and cheap is a good thing.  Here at the FFA petting barn everybody can come in free of cost and visit with us, visit with the animals, see the animals, learn a little bit about the agricultural industry," says Illinois State FFA President Darren Riskedal.

People can even catch a free high diving act featuring diving legend and world record holder Dana Kunze.

"People can just come sit down.  We do four of them a day, so you've got four opportunities per day to come out and see some of the greatest professional high divers in the world," says Kunze.

After the show a cheap dinner might consist of a $3 cozy dog from Miller's.

With so many free things for families to do, this year's fair proves one thing, there's plenty to do at this year's Illinois State Fair without going broke.

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