The 68th annual Heart of Illinois Fair wraps up over the weekend

PEORIA - Despite the heat, visitors still made their way out to enjoy the Heart of Illinois Fair as it wraps up at the Expo Gardens this weekend.

From kiddie tractor pulls, to carnival rides, the Heart of Illinois Fair is fun for the whole family. And the activities kept people busy until cows came home... literally.

The organizers of the fair decided to shorten it from 9 days, to just 5.

Roxy Baker is one of the directors of the HOI Fair. She says, "We've contemplated it for a while and finally decided that, let’s cut it down and see what happens and we'll see how it works."

The decision to shorten the fair was purely a financial one. "9 days, it's a long time and it encompasses 2 weekends, and financially, funding is almost non-existent now," says Baker.

For many visitors, like Richard and his son Gary, the fair is a tradition. Richard says, "I think it is kind of a tradition. It's been around forever, you've always heard of the Heart of Illinois Fair, and if you look around, today especially, it's just nothing but families. It's a lot of parents and a lot of kids."

And even though the fair was shorter this year, Gary and Richard are just glad that it's still around.

"It's just more fun packed into a shorter amount of time. It's good clean family fun. It's something we can do together, we both like the rides, we both like the games, we both like the fair food, it's something that we can do together and not have to worry about anything else," says Richard.

Gary says, "I just came because the first words i ever heard were fair, and I’m like, I’m in."


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