Gov. Pat Quinn cut the ribbon to let the parade enter the fairgrounds and told the crowd today is Food Pantry Awareness Day at the fair.
“Bring a (food) donation or buy a $1 raffle ticket for a new four-wheeler to benefit food pantries,” Quinn said.
Other state and local officials spoke, including Du Quoin Mayor Rex Duncan, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, Secretary of State Jesse White, Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Rachel Marks of Du Quoin sang the National Anthem.
Through the course of the fair, which runs from Friday, Aug. 23, through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2, more than $500,000 in free entertainment will be presented at the fairgrounds. This ranges from special grandstand performances to daily entertainment.
And the fairgrounds are beautiful this year, said Fair Manager John Rednour Jr. “Maybe the best I’ve ever seen them — and we’re ready to put on one heck of a fair for the people of Southern Illinois.”