Du Quoin State Fair 2016

Stock image: creative commons courtesy of PhotopinThe Du Quoin State Fair is one of the biggest in Southern Illinois. This year keeps with tradition with rides, live music, and lots of fun.


Running for eleven days, the Du Quoin State Fair offers nonstop entertainment. The fair kicks off on Friday with the Twilight Parade which runs down Route 51 to the fairgrounds where carnival rides, fair food, and fun games await.

The Free Entertainment Tent hosts small but memorable events every day including Gavin the Hypnotist, Magic Mike, and local bands. Inside the Expo Drive things get a little hairy with events like The Horse Whisperer, Reptile Adventures, and Zuzu African Acrobats.

One of the key events at the fair is harness racing which takes place on Aug. 27 and 28. Jockeys drive their horses from chariot-like harnesses at the Grandstand. There are also horse and mule shows during the fair, as well as rodeos, barrel races, and more.

If you prefer wheels to hooves then there are plenty of motor sports to enjoy. Stock car racing, a demolition derby, and ARCA racing all take place at the fair.

Several performers are lined up for the grandstand live music concerts this year. Country music star Sara Evans will take the stage on Saturday. From there it’s Skillet, Tom Keifer alongside Sebastian Bach, Kellie Pickler, Peter Noone, Aaron Lewis with Pat Green, Jamey Johnson, and on Monday the fair will wrap up with the special Summerland Tour starring Sugar Ray, Everclear, and more.

For those wanting a classic fair experience gate admission is only $2 with children 12 and under getting in free. Inside there are livestock shows, rides everyday starting at 4 p.m. on weekdays, and noon on weekends. There are food vendors, exhibits, and plenty of free, family-friendly entertainment.

It’s all happening August 26 - September 5. Hours and events vary by day. Visit the website for a full schedule.

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