Conservation World a Great Place for Free Family Fun at Illinois State Fair

Chris Young
Conservation World a Great Place for Free Family Fun at Illinois State Fair
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Free family fun, entertainment, and great ideas for spending time outdoors are featured inside Conservation World at the 2015 Illinois State Fair, August 14-23 in Springfield. Free shows include the famed Timberworks Lumberjacks and record-setting whip cracker Chris Camp’s “Whip Guy” western show, along with free Voyageur canoe rides, fishing clinics, and shooting sports instruction for youth.

Conservation World is a 30-acre park located at the northwest corner of the fairgrounds that reflects the diversity of outdoor recreation and natural resources of the state.

“Conservation World is a must-see destination for families at the Illinois State Fair, with great ways to learn more about the great outdoors in Illinois,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal.  “We encourage everyone coming to the fair to set aside some time to join us at Conservation World, where they’ll find shade trees, ponds and wildlife, with places to sit and relax while enjoying free shows and informative programs.”

Conservation World is open each day of the fair from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and features an expansive schedule of free entertainment, hands-on activities for youngsters, informative exhibits, seminars, and interactive displays.

Among the highlights at Conservation World:

• The Timberworks Lumberjack Show offers spectators a unique blend of logging history, world-class competition, and plenty of hilarious comedy. From speed carving and climbing to axe throwing and log rolling, the Timberworks Lumberjacks are a must-see at this year’s state fair.  Shows in Conservation World are scheduled daily at 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
• The “Whip Guy” is Springfield’s own Chris Camp, a world-class whip cracker who might be mistaken for Indiana Jones when you hear the “zwip-pop” of his bullwhip.  See and hear the cracker (a small piece of nylon connected to the end of a whip) moving at 750 to 900 mph; the sound when it reaches this speed is a sonic boom.  Enjoy the free Whip Guy western show with Chris Camp and family each day of the fair at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
• Free Kids Fishing Clinics are an Illinois State Fair favorite, at the pond just inside the Conservation World gate.  Young anglers learn about Illinois sport fish, then bait a hook and go fishing.  Fishing clinics are held daily at 10:30 a.m., 12 noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
• Green Acres Sportsman’s Club features trained and trainee sporting dogs in action at the Conservation World pond each day at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
• Center stage at Conservation World is the Illinois Green Industry Association Amphitheater.  The outdoor stage, terraced seating, walkway and gazebo provide a great setting for expert advice by green industry experts and on-stage performances by area and regional musicians throughout the state fair.
• Families can take Voyageur canoe rides on the Conservation World pond Aug. 14-16 and Aug. 21-23 from 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., and pose for photos with Smokey Bear during his frequent forays throughout the Conservation World grounds.
• Kids can practice their shooting skills on the youth archery and youth BB gun ranges, with help from expert volunteer instructors.
• Families can learn more about becoming Habitat Helpers by stopping by the Education Tent at Conservation World, with tips and recommendations for providing habitat for wildlife species, including monarch butterflies and other pollinators.  Kids can work on puzzles, play games and visit the Little Video Theater.  Families can pick up a packet of native plant seeds – and information packs are available for visiting school teachers.
• Displays and hands-on activities focusing on outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources stewardship in Illinois are located throughout Conservation World.  Illinois Conservation Police officers and IDNR wildlife, fisheries and habitat restoration biologists will be on hand to answer questions about rules, regulations, conservation programs, hunting, and fishing issues.  Hunting and fishing licenses will be available in the Law Enforcement Tent.
• Sportsmen and women from a variety of outdoor recreation groups and volunteers from a number of Illinois environmental organizations will also welcome state fair visitors at Conservation World, as will vendors of crafts and gifts with unique items available for purchase. 

Food and drink vendors at Conservation World will include southern Illinois’ famed 17th Street Barbeque, Vose Concessions with corn dogs and fried pickles, A & J’s Ice Cream, Pioneer Kettle Corn, Ice Biz Shaved Ice, Bud’s Root Beer, Illinois wines, and the Candy Man. 

Illinois State Fair admission includes free admission to Conservation World.
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