IL State Fair Says 2021 Was A Great Bounce Back After Last Year’s Cancellation

By Benjamin Cox on September 29, 2021 at 9:49am

It was a nearly record-breaking year at the Illinois State Fair this year. The Illinois Department of Agriculture said today the fair saw over 472,000 visitors pass through the gates this year, making it the second highest attendance for the fair since the Department of Ag began tracking attendance in 2014.

Attendance at this year’s fair was surpassed only by the historic records set in 2019. The first weekend of the 2021 fair also saw attendance numbers increase by over 15,000 people compared to 2019.

IL State Fair Spokesperson Krista Lisser says that the State Fair Board was glad things came back the way they did after a year off: “With the pandemic and everything going on, we were really happy with the State Fair numbers that came out in 2021, and if you were out here on the first weekend, you could tell that there was going to be another successful fair. There were a lot of people out here, and I think a lot of people just wanted to get out and have a sense of normalcy for a minute. It was a success for us to just actually be able to hold the fair to begin with. To be able to have these kind of numbers and see that there were a lot of families that were able to come out, have some fun, that the kids were able to show animals, and were able to do the things that we’ve been doing summer after summer; it was a highlight for us.”

Grandstand ticket sales and revenue saw over 44,500 tickets, generating over $1.5 million in revenue. Overall revenue numbers are not final, but the 2021 Illinois State Fair is estimating an overall revenue slightly over $5 million, ranking ninth for total revenue out of the last 20 years.

The 2022 Illinois State Fair is set to run August 11th-21st.