Daily Schedule

Thursday, August 13 Preview Night 

This is the unofficial start of the fair!  Gates open at 7:00 a.m.  
Preview Day will feature the twilight parade, discounted carnival rides and a FREE concert at the Grand Central Stage. The Twilight Parade starts at 5:30 p.m. from Lincoln Park.   The Grand Central Stage performance will begin at 7:00 p.m. .  Carnival Midway and Adventure Village will be open late Thursday afternoon following a complete ride inspection.      

Friday, August 14 County Fairs & Horse Racing Day 

More than 70 county fair queens and 105 fairs and expositions from across the state are represented at the fair. It is also the first day of harness racing at the fair’s one-mile dirt track, which is the fastest in the world.

Saturday, August 15 Kids Day 

The first Saturday of the Illinois State Fair is dedicate to our youngest fairgoers.  Kids Day will feature special programming aimed at educating and entertaining kids of all ages.  And remember - Kids 12 & under get in FREE to the Illinois State Fair! ​​

Sunday, August 16 Veterans & Gold Star Families Day 

Veterans and their families are admitted to the grounds for free. A veterans parade and activities are some of the highlights for the day. Discounted ride passes for families of military veterans.

Monday, August 17 Senior and Scout Day 

Fair visitors 60 and older are admitted to the fairgrounds for free. Special events in the Senior Citizens Center, including inductions into the Illinois Senior Hall of Fame, take place throughout the day. The Scout Day Tent will be located directly outside the entrance to the Carnival Midway.

Tuesday, August 18 Agriculture Day 

Illinois agriculture, which is featured throughout the fair, is highlighted on this day. Grand champion junior livestock including the barrow, steer, wether, poultry trio and rabbit trio are auctioned at the Governor’s Sale of Champions, and the best of Illinois processed foods are auctioned at the Commodity Auction.

Wednesday, August 19 - Governor’s Day

While the Governor attends much of the Illinois State Fair, this is his day to host special guests, including former Illinois Governors.

Thursday, August 20 - Republican Day

Illinois Republicans host special guests on this day.

Friday, August 21 First Responder Day 

Welcome to the weekend!  Today all police officers, firefighters and EMTs who show their badge at the gate will be admitted to the Illinois State Fair for FREE.  Also, look for special offers and discounts from various food vendors while you enjoying your day on at the fair!

Saturday, August 22 Park District Conservation Day 

Members of more than 45 Park Districts from throughout Illinois entertain fairgoers across the grounds and host activities in Conservation World.

Sunday, August 23 Family Day 

Bring the family out and enjoy the last day of the fair.​​​​​​​​