We have never been to this one in Springfield and would like to go. Maybe even this year when it runs from August 9th to 19th. We could combine a Route 66 thing to it.
DISTANCE FROM CHICAGO: 200 miles, around the same from Spring Grove.
2011 ATTENDANCE: 817,000
FIRST HELD: 1853 in Springfield. Did Lincoln go?
OTHER CITIES HOSTING IT: Alton, Centralia, Chicago, Decatur, DuQuoin, Freeport, Jacksonville, Olney, Ottawa, Peoria and Quincy.
US-66 CONNECTION: The fairgrounds are right on an alignment of Route 66 and close to Bill Shea's.
ON THE MENU: Deep-fried chocolate mint cookies (Girl Scout?) Also those great State Fair Fries.
ENTERTAINMENT: Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Train, Creed, Cheap Trick and Steve Miller Band.
YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW: The fair's famous "Butter Cow" sculpture is not made bu Illinoisans. For the past decade, it has been sculpted by Sharon BuMann of Central Square, NY. For more than 25 years before that, it was designed by Norma Lyon, of Toledo, Iowa, who died last year at age 81.
LINCOLN HIGHWAY CONNECTION: I think Toledo is along the Lincoln.
We Really Should Go. --RoadDog