August 11 - 21, 2016

Fair Schedule

Admission Information

The Illinois State Fairgrounds is open from 7 a.m. to Midnight for the duration of the Fair. The Fair Administration Office is open from 8 am to 6 pm.

General Admission

  • Adults (13 – 59) — $10
  • Children (0-12) — FREE
  • Senior Citizens (60 and older) — $3
  • Sunday, August 14 – Veteran’s Day – With Presentation of Proper Identification Veteran’s and Families – FREE
  • Monday, August 15 – Senior Citizens Day (60 & over) – FREE
  • Vehicle Parking (Fridays & Saturdays) — $10 (All Other Days) – $5


Coupon books and auto stickers are available at the Emmerson Building and the Grandstand

  • Coupon Book Adult (13-59)-11 Admissions — $60
Thursday, August 11 — Preview Night

This is the unofficial start of the fair with the twilight parade and discounted carnival rides. The Twilight Parade starts at 6:00 pm from 9th Street and North Grand Avenue to the Grandstand. You won’t want to miss the spectacle and pageantry of the Twilight Parade.

 Friday, August 12 — County Fairs and Horse Racing

More than 70 county fair queens and 105 fairs and expositions from across the state are represented at the fair on opening day. It is also the first day of harness racing at the fair’s one-mile dirt track, which is the fastest in the world.

Saturday, August 13 – First Responders Day

Honoring policemen, firemen, and EMTs who are on the front lines everyday. First responders will receive special discounts from select Vendors and Concessionaires.

Sunday, August 14 — Veterans Day

Veterans and their families are admitted to the grounds for free. A veterans parade and activities are some of the highlights for the day. Discounted ride passes for families of military veterans.

Monday, August 15 — Senior Citizens Day/Scout Day

Fair visitors 60 and older are admitted to the fairgrounds for free. Special events in the Senior Citizens Center, including inductions into the Illinois Senior Hall of Fame, take place throughout the day. The Scout Day Tent will be located directly outside the entrance to the Carnival Midway.

Tuesday, August 16 — Agriculture Day

Illinois agriculture, which is featured throughout the fair, is highlighted on this day. Grand champion junior livestock including the barrow, steer, wether, poultry trio and rabbit trio are auctioned at the Governor’s Sale of Champions, and the best of Illinois processed foods are auctioned at the Commodity Auction.

Wednesday, August 17 — Governor’s Day

While the Governor attends much of the Illinois State Fair, this is his day to host special guests, including former Illinois Governors.

Thursday, August 18 — Democrat Day

Illinois Democrats host special guests on this day.

Friday, August 19 — Futures for Kids Day

Many of the activities on this day are centered around our younger visitors. Several competitions are held including decorated diaper, diaper derby, and ponytail contest.

Saturday, August 20 — Park District Conservation Day

Members of more than 45 Park Districts from throughout Illinois entertain fairgoers across the grounds and host activities in Conservation World.

Sunday, August 21 — Family Day

The general admission price is lowered to $5 per adult and $2 per senior to encourage more families to enjoy the last day of the fair.