Farm Progress Show prepares for larger than normal crowd - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Farm Progress Show prepares for larger than normal crowd

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An event that draws people from all over the world is just weeks away from kicking off in Decatur, but crews have already started preparing the grounds for this year's farm progress show. And crews are a little busier because there's a new addition to the show, an annex, that's expanding the show beyond these main gates.

Around 90 acres of Farm Progress show ground," lot of preparation," said Barb Dornfeld a show landscaper.

The preparation entails drilling, heavy lifting and landscaping.

"It's just a family atmosphere," Dornfeld said. "Everyone works together to make the show go."

This year's family will have more than 550 exhibitors set up on 12 streets.

"As compared to other shows, we're looking for probably one of the largest draws we've had if weather stays the way it is," said Operations Manager Mark Lovig.

Crews are preparing for the larger crowd.

"We have been sold out for several years and this year it just got to be too much, the waiting list was just humongous," Lovig said.

Because the demand for show space was so high they added an annex. It's 35 to 40 more lots expected to hold around 25 more exhibitors.

"We're sure glad to have them," Lovig said. "We're sure willing to make a go at this."

The annex is located just beyond the main gates.

"It's their opportunity to get in the show," he said.

And new to the show this year, an asphalt covered Twelfth Progress Street, "so that's another finished block," Lovig said.

A finished block but ongoing preparations that are worth the work it in the end.

"Once it's here, you get it in your blood and you just enjoy it," Dornfeld explained.

And attendees will be able to enjoy it in just a couple of weeks.

The show starts Tuesday, August 27 and runs through the 29th. Show organizers say exhibitors will be arriving as early as Monday. Lovig said he's already started planning for next year.

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