The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) recently recognized the Du Quoin State Fair as a continued economic engine for the southern Illinois economy, with more than 166,000 people attending this year’s annual event showcasing Illinois agriculture.
Excessive heat warnings and an extended duration of high humidity led to the cancelation of the annual Twilight Parade and prompted several schedule alterations to accommodate the safety of fairgoers. Despite the extreme weather, the Du Quoin State Fair brought in more than $417,000 in revenue on ticketed events. The increase in revenue is attributed to strong ticket sales led by Grandstand performers Dustin Lynch, Larry the Cable Guy, and FLO Rida.
“Once again, the Du Quoin State Fair broke records and exceeded expectations—hosting more than 166,000 people and bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The consistent year-to-year growth of the Du Quoin State Fair showcases our continued support for the southern Illinois economy and reinforces the fairgrounds position as a premiere tourist destination for the region—and my administration remains committed to making this historic fair successful for decades to come.”
“Rain, shine or heatwave, the Du Quoin State Fair harvested the fun for another successful year,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “The near-record attendance at the Du Quoin State Fair continues to show that Du Quoin brings together the best that southern Illinois has to offer, and is a reminder that agriculture truly connects us all.”
The annual event is a southern Illinois tradition that highlights the state’s number one industry while providing top notch entertainment and educational opportunities. Published reports indicate the Du Quoin State Fair has an economic impact of $6 million, including $2 million for wages and salaries, and generates more than half a million dollars in sales tax revenue.
“I am extremely proud of the staff who works at the Du Quoin State Fair to produce an annual event of this size and duration,” said IDOA Director Jerry Costello. “To maintain the level of success established during last year’s 100th celebration is incredible. The success of the Du Quoin State Fair is critical for southern Illinois and is an economic engine throughout the year that puts hundreds of people to work in the region, fueling small businesses.”
Looking Ahead: 2024 Solar Eclipse
On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America with the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds set to have prime viewing for this historic event. Similar to the 2017 eclipse, the 2024 celestial sighting has the potential to bring millions of tourists to southern Illinois, to stay in hotels, shop in local stores, and dine at hometown restaurants.
The Du Quoin State Fair is developing a reservation system that will allow the general public to reserve the more than 1,000 campsites available on the fairgrounds campus. More information about this opportunity will be available soon.
The 2024 Du Quoin State Fair will run Aug. 23 through Sept. 2.
Du Quoin State Fair Attendance Numbers