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McLean Co. Fair moving up in '23

A banner shown Wednesday in the mini expo building of the McLean Co. Fair / CIFN photo.

BLOOMINGTON – If you are planning to attend next year’s McLean County Fair, keep in mind it will be a bit sooner than in years past.

While this week’s event is still sticking with the traditional first week of August ending, the 2023 fair will end on the last weekend of July, with run dates of July 26-30, 2023. This decision comes after plenty of discussion between the 4-H office, fair board and carnival operator.

“The purpose here is getting away from the State Fair,” explained McLean County Fair Manager Mike Swartz. “Once livestock exhibitors leave here on Sunday, a lot of them are down at the State Fair two days later.”

Since it can be a rush for livestock and exhibitors both, the decision was made over two years ago to try and move the fair to distance it from the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

“I put all of the pieces together this past year and everybody has agreed that next year we’ll move so we end on the last weekend of July,” said Swartz.

A positive takeaway from all of this is the fact that the Central Illinois Junior Livestock Show is coming to the McLean County Fair next year, meaning kids could potentially pick-up big money in an open show.

“Not only are we going to have our 4-H livestock here and their junior show, we are also going to have an open show so we are going to co-mingle,” added Swartz. “The show that is coming in gives out $40,000 in premiums.”


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