Gov. Bruce Rauner cut the ceremonial ribbon at the Du Quoin State Fair on Friday, kicking off the eleven-day celebration of Southern Illinois agriculture and the Illinois Bicentennial.
Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Raymond Poe, State Fair Manager Luke Sailer, Assistant Manager Tibretta Reiman, and the twilight parade grand marshals joined in the launching of the 2018 fair, which runs through September 3.
“The Du Quoin State Fair features the best aspects of Southern Illinois, particularly its agriculture and farm families,” Rauner said. “Southern Illinoisans have played a major role in the history of Illinois, and the fair will highlight their contributions to Illinois agriculture and the state’s economic and cultural life.”
“The state’s farm families are a top priority for me and the rest of the governor’s administration,” said Sanguinetti, who serves as the Chair of the Governor’s Council on Rural Affairs. “I am happy to be back in Southern Illinois for the fair to celebrate agriculture’s importance to the state of Illinois.”
Twilight parade grand marshals Gerald and Betty Brown are the first family to be designated as a Bicentennial Farm by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The family has farmed in Illinois since 1816, and Gerald Brown is the fifth generation of the Brown family to own the same piece of land in Union County.