DU QUOIN — Over 150,000 people attended the Du Quoin State Fair this year, up 22.1% from 2019 attendance numbers of nearly 124,000 people. Along with overall attendance being up, grandstand shows saw their highest attendance numbers since 2012.
“To come off of a year where we were unable to hold a fair due to the pandemic and generate these numbers is fantastic,” said Josh Gross, Du Quoin State Fair manager. “Our goal once we started planning for 2021 was to give people something to look forward to and I think we did that. Starting with the return of free admission to the fair in 2019, to bringing in top grandstand performances this year, the Du Quoin State Fair keeps improving year after year.”
The eight performances drew a collective 20,780 people, with classic rock band REO Speedwagon leading the way selling over 4000 tickets. The 2021 grandstand generated over $413,000 in revenue, highest in 20 years.
“This year’s Du Quoin State Fair marked not only a successful return to the fairgrounds but a return to treasured traditions, community competition and family fun,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “With record attendance and one of the most successful grandstands in years, it is clear that the Du Quoin State Fair will continue to be an economic engine for the region for years to come. Best of all, the Department of Agriculture and the organizers of this year’s fair were able to welcome us back safely — making sure the health and safety of fairgoers came first as we enjoyed all the fair has to offer.”
Overall revenue numbers are not final, but the 2021 Du Quoin State Fair is estimating an overall revenue of over $1.2 million, ranking sixth for total revenue in the last two decades.
“This year’s Du Quoin State Fair was a testament to our state’s strength, resiliency, and growth — even during unprecedented times,” said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. “The Du Quoin State Fair is the stage to elevate and uplift Illinois’ diverse communities, including our agriculture industry that connects all of us. As head of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, I’m proud of the fair’s success and look forward to what we will accomplish in the years to come.”
The 2022 Du Quoin State Fair will run Aug. 26 through Sept. 5.
“My family and I look forward to the Du Quoin State Fair every year,” said Jerry Costello II, director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “It is an annual tradition that allows southern Illinois an opportunity showcase what makes our area so special.”