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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019

* From the Boycott Du Quoin State Fair Facebook page

Family legend has it that one of my ancestors was deployed to southern Illinois during the Civil War to put down a Copperhead rebellion. The Copperheads were so vicious that the Illinois governor called out the militia during a state constitutional convention over fears that they might try to seize control of the government.

The QAnon types are also posting on the page, as well as your run of the mill racists, and more than a smattering of separatists. A few folks who’ve spoken up against the hate on the Facebook page were shouted down.

There are now 5,488 members of the group, including former state Sen. Sam McCann.

* From a Southern Illinoisan editorial

[A boycott] would only be cutting off the region’s nose to spite its own face, seeing as we really wouldn’t be helped any to lose the economic boost the fair brings here annually. (And we can’t help but fear poor fair attendance this year could give the state reason to disinvest in it.)

* The Question: Should the state stop funding the Du Quoin State Fair next year? Make sure to explain your answer in comments.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Wow - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    Yes. Let the “Eastern Bloc” fund it

  2. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    No. Don’t let a racist minority ruin the fair.

  3. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    Yes. There should only be one state fair.

  4. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:30 pm:

    If JB walks in the Du Quoin parade and there are any confederate flags along the route then yep it’s over for me. I’ve driven down there before and seen houses with confederate flags here and there. If a band cancellation brings this much hate and racism then bye bye fair.

    Also if Black Diamond HD still has the band play and a bunch of racists or flag wavers show up they should be ashamed for even having the idea to host the band. I wonder if the band even wants to step foot down there after all this hateful response.

  5. - tweed - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:30 pm:

    surely the Eastern Blocs economic might can fund the fair. they don’t need Chicago money polluting their venue.

  6. - JT - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    Wow, yes pull the funding and direct it to their schools instead.

  7. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    The state should support those folks and join their boycott.

  8. - Birdseed - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    Yes, if you really want to rile people up right before the vote on the CA.

  9. - Piatt County GOP - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    Yes, only one state fair needed. Plus I’d like to see DuQuoin Mayor Guy Alongi go off on his fellow Democrat, Governor J.B. Pritzker.

  10. - A Jack - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    If that fair loses money this year because of a boycott or otherwise, then certainly there would be a valid reason to not fund that fair next year.

  11. - Jibba - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    Yes. We have one main state fair and can barely keep that one maintained. Revert DuQuoin to a county fair. Surely the grounds are better than the Perry County Fairgrouds in Pinckneyville (those who have been there can chime in).

  12. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    No. The state should continue to fund the AFSCME Family Picnic.

  13. - Jimbo2 - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    No, they shouldn’t stop funding it. I’d love to see who those 5 thousand plus folks are. How many are out of state sack-jobs, how many are trolls or even bots. I’d bet that the number of locals is very low.

  14. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:43 pm:

    ===I’d love to see who those 5 thousand plus folks are===

    Click the link.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:44 pm:

    ===The state should continue to fund the AFSCME===

    lol… I bet that felt so good.

    To the Post,

    If a governor wants to have an event at the mansion down there, maybe a couple days, sure.

    Maybe a second state fair has run its course.

    When the 51st state finally happens, they can have their state fair there.

    Until then… it’s tough to see the “good” this second fair is, except to help the economy. I’m for helping economically, but in the name of what some folks want it to be…

  16. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:45 pm:

    Yes. It’s a money loser and it’s the same distance roughly from the top of the state to Springfield as it is from the bottom. A bad turnout this year plus any protests, hateful displays, etc. provides the perfect excuse. One state fair may be more than enough. Two certainly is.

  17. - Benjamin - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Illinois needs two state fairs. One is plenty, and the towns of southern Illinois are no further away from the state fairgrounds in Springfield than Rockford or Galena are.

  18. - {Sigh} - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    What qualifications does the new DuQuoin State Fair Manager have? It appears this entire situation could have been avoided if someone at the fair and the Dept of Ag would have communicated with the Gov’s office prior to booking the band.

    If I recall from a previous post a couple years, wouldn’t it require legislative change to cancel the fair? Maybe it’s time for another fair reorganization. This situation reminds me of Rauner’s first State Fair Manager.

  19. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    Benjamin -
    The State bought it when Thompson was Governor. Why? To ensure Willie Nelson played twice a year in Illinois? /s

  20. - lakeside - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    I don’t mind the fair. But 1000000% more scrutiny regarding events and booked acts next year. These fb folks can have their state-paid-for fair fun or they can have their faux rebel traitor nonsense, but they can’t have both.

    (Its 100th birthday is in 1923; I’d probably keep it going till then, have a 100th anniversary party and shut it down thereafter.)

  21. - Rte 40 - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    Yes, then declare it surplus property and sell.

    Great opportunities here for IPI, Proft Presses, Uihlein, Rauner, etc. A new downstate retreat for the fringe of the fringe. Welcome to Copperheadland. A quality family establishment where only the angriest neo-cons and southern sympathizers meet! How about Trumpland as plan B?

  22. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    Fund it for next year. This is not a fight JB needs now.

  23. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    The Du Quoin Illinois State Fair is such an economic engine for Southern Illinois.
    So many people and businesses depend on that fair taking place.
    It’s a wonderful event and so meaningful to so many.
    Be self differentiated folks
    Don’t make me get my inner Murray Bowen on
    I swear to God
    Let folks have and enjoy
    what is meaningful and good to them.
    Just because you don’t
    doesn’t mean someone else can’t
    or shouldn’t

  24. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    Despite the current ridiculous situation, I’ve always felt the state only needs one State Fair. Put the regional focus on county fairs, if they want one, and focus state attention on only one.

    The fairgrounds in Du Quoin could simply be used for a county fair that acts as a regional center for surrounding counties (similar to how the Sandwich Fair acts as the most popular fair in northern Illinois).

  25. - Been There - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    Haven’t been there in a few years for various reasons but they still have some good events and horse racing. Whatever the actual costs to the state are most of it goes to local Ag programs and some of the temp jobs. Not much else going on in that area so they need some kind if investment. Even Carbondale is almost half of what if use to be. I say keep it going.

  26. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 2:56 pm:


    This has to end now, or it ends in a much much worse way.

    To add on, it is now critical that someone in the legislature call the bluff of these ’seperatists’ and bring their into the legislative calendar. First stop - finance committee, where they will add actual real numbers of what this action will mean for the people who live there.

    A small group of people is literally trying to destroy part of the state. I doubt everyone wants this, and showing them the cold hard facts of what these decisions will mean ’should’ help to put this down once and for all.

  27. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    And wow,
    this just hit me.
    It’s like me saying
    I have mostly German ancestors
    and I just learned that they had these folks
    called Schutzstaffel
    Cool boots, cool symbols, awesome uniforms
    Butt kickers doin what they wanted.
    Maybe we should call this facebook group Schutzstaffel

    The internet is changing….just so much…
    so fast.

    is so viral

  28. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    The state should unload both fairs. They’re a celebration of Agriculture? Fine, gift them to the Illinois Farm Bureau, let them run them. Franky the Snoop and Confederate RailRoad shows exemplify the problems of a public entity trying to put on a moneymaking entertainment event.
    And by the way, news flash: the confederacy lost. The confederacy didn’t want to be part of the United States of America. And this great state is home to the great Republican president who put down that shameful rebellion. So if you’re in Illinois and pledging allegiance to the confederacy you are a loser of epic, historical proportion.

  29. - Practical Politics - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    The nickname “Copperheads” derived from a poisonous snake. The bite of a copperhead could prove to be fatal if not treated promptly and correctly.

    Abraham Lincoln expelled a “Copperhead” Congressman from the Northern USA and had him sent to the Confederacy.

    A failed “Copperhead” conspiracy was to raid Camp Douglas in Chicago and free all of the Confederate prisoners of war held there (thinking that the soldiers would resume fighting).

  30. - Token Conservative - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:04 pm:


    This was a fight Christian Mitchell and the Gov wanted. It was way over the fair managers head.

  31. - Kevin O. - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    Pretty ironic considering many of them believe taxation is theft and the myth of downstate regions not seeing any state resources.

    I’m all for the state stripping these resources though, if it means denying a platform for militant separatists to organize.

  32. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    Honey bear—
    I would agree the 10-day fair is good for Du quoin’s local economy and hotel taxes and such, but to say it’s an economic engine for all of southern Illinois is a stretch.

  33. - Gooner - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    There is no need for one state fair, much less two.
    Unless the fair turns a profit, it is just not an expense that the state should take on.

  34. - Interested - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:10 pm:


  35. - pool boy - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:11 pm:

    How much funding do they get vs economic benefit to the area? I thought they got around $780,000 of state funds and had an attendance of 100,000. I say keep it.

  36. - Morningstar - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    No, the State should not stop funding the DuQuoin Fair if only for the reason that it probably makes people use Google Maps to figure out where DuQuoin actually is.

  37. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    It’s fun to look at Ken Campbell’s FB page. And here’s a great response to his post:

    “I have read where Southern Illinois was actually split between the Confederacy and the Union. Also though Illinois was recognized as a Free State, there were actually stipulations that still allowed Slavery. The Old Slave house in Saline County is one example of this. The slaves were leased from Southern owners however John Crenshaw was involved in the Reverse Underground Rail Road and he was known for kidnapping free women and children and selling them into Slavery. Though his activities were reported they were overlooked to prevent the loss pf sales tax that he paid to the state.”

    How upset this guy is gonna be when he finds out that the State of Illinois didn’t have a sales tax until 1933…

  38. - midway gardens - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    Its a money loser at least through 2016. Tired of subsiding downstate. It used to be a private fair till the 80’s. Go back to that.

  39. - Dysfunction Junction - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    Yes - for the reasons TheInvisibleMan gives above, plus one. Call the bluff, bring the secessionist proposal to committee, put the numbers out there for all to see. Then put a *statewide advisory referendum* on the ballot. This is a conversation Illinois needs to have. Folks in Chicagoland don’t know the sentiments of those living below I-80, and those potential Illinibammans don’t know the financial realities of what they’re requesting. Let’s get the data out there in the open.

  40. - El Conquistador - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    Pull the plug. It’s a money pit that’s not necessary. The locals have no grace and don’t appreciate the hand out. The state should extend funds where some good is done. The downstate fair(s) should be discontinued.

  41. - Peoria guy - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:21 pm:


    Every state surrounding us (w/ the exception of Wisconsin) has 1 state fair and all get much higher attendances as a percentage of their state’s population. The state should refocus it’s resources and try to do 1 state fair well before we try doing 2 of them.

  42. - TaylorvilleTornado - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    How nice of these people to reinforce every negative stereotype about downstate Illinois.

    I say stop funding the Du Quoin fair. If they are this in love with self-destruction, I say we leave them to it.

  43. - Tommydanger - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:29 pm:

    Its funny, or more correctly sad, that despite the more interconnected we have all become through the internet and social media, we are growing further apart.

  44. - {Sigh} - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    @Token Conservative

    =This was a fight Christian Mitchell and the Gov wanted. It was way over the fair managers head.=

    Uh, who was the person that thought it was a good idea to book the band? Based on the response from the Gov’s office, it doesn’t sound like this is a band that Mitchell or the Governor would have picked. Are you trying to say the Fair Manager wasn’t involved in offering a contract to the band or making recommendations on which bands to book?

    Of, course it was way over the fair manager’s head once the grandstand acts were announced and the discussions re: contract cancellation occurred.

    This was a sloppy mistake that could have been prevented before a contract offer was made to the band.

  45. - Been There - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:32 pm:

    ===hotel taxes and such,===
    Actually I think there is only one hotel actually in DuQuoin. And that is only less than 10 years old. Plenty of people camp but most stay, shop and eat in Carbondale, Marion, Rend Lake etc. So maybe not all of southern Illinois but a bigger footprint than just near the fairgrounds.

  46. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    ===How nice of these people to reinforce every negative stereotype===

    Perhaps the most predictable aspect of this whole thing. And that concert at the Harley dealership is gonna be a nightmare.

  47. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    Keep DuQuion and start working on a big purse for harness races. That would drivers and trainers back

  48. - Morty - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    Yeah, just cancel it.

    And let them secede.

    Whatever gets them to shut up

    Dealing with these fools…it’s exhausting

  49. - Southern_Dawg - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    I’m embarrassed. True southerner here. Born and raised in Saline and currently reside in Williamson. Two degrees from SIU. Been here my whole life. And this is absolutely embarrassing.

  50. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:43 pm:

    Regrettably. Yes.

  51. - Whizbang - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:43 pm:

    WOW! For once I agree with Honeybear on something. I think the state should keep funding the Duquoin state fair. It is one of the few things that is looked forward to in the area. Cancelling it would play into the naysayers hands and just give them more fuel for their noise. Don’t punish everyone because of a few clowns.

  52. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:43 pm:

    As was said earlier , get rid of it and put money into education
    Never heard of the Copperheads. Called that because was a deadly snake that gave no warnings before biting. Traitor is another word. This are same people who go on and on about what a dictator Lincoln was. Be nice if they at least got into 20th century

  53. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:44 pm:

    Paul Powell another Democratic power-broker from a different age will be rolling over in his grave if they stop funding DuQion.

  54. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:44 pm:

    Sorry. It is a shell of what it used to be and there are numerous county fairs in the region that are as good if not better.

  55. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:47 pm:

    You can make a case that our financial condition would justify de-funding both State Fairs.

    But, given the tax burden of people in this state, it’s a good case that the State needs to be doing something for the quality of life of people here. And giving them a fun span of days is the least they could do. Though, like others here, I believe they could do it a lot better and they should.

    From everything I read here, people seem to look very forward to the Fair in DuQuoin. And Honeybear wants it…
    So, in light of that, I vote to keep both of them, but keep trying to improve the financial factors of both.

  56. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    ==Revert DuQuoin to a county fair. ==

    It was never a “county fair.” It was a privately owned, organized, and operated fair until the 1980’s.

    I have been to both fairs and think we should keep them both.

    That said, it’s time for the legislators who represent the area to admit that the state actually provides a lot of revenue to the area (from the DuQuoin Fair to the World Shooting Complex to SIUC to all the roads and parks). If they actually managed to cut taxes, from which they derive a disproportionate benefit, nice things like the DuQuoin Fair should be the first to go.

  57. - cover - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    = John Crenshaw was involved in the Reverse Underground Rail Road and he was known for kidnapping free women and children and selling them into Slavery =

    Was that the original Confederate Railroad?

  58. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    Don’t let racists and Confederates dictate policy. They lost big in 2018. Who are they to tell Chicago anything? That’s why I vote no.

  59. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    Just wonderin…..if the fair is so darn popular, how come they dropped admission charges. Things in high demand generally see fee increases.

  60. - SIUEalum - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    Yes, but not yet. Not a smart political move right now, but I hope in 5 years, Illinois only has 1 state fair.

    I grew up in the ‘Eastern Bloc’ and there were some people who proudly talked about ancestors fighting for CSA in civil war. True or not, I always thought that people discussing that as a point of pride was pretty messed up, even at a young age. I’m assuming that individuals such as those are going to be the bulk of attendees at CR concert. Mr. Miller is definitely correct, it’s going to be a mess.

    Just what SIUC needs to attract students from NE Illinois.

  61. - JSS - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:00 pm:

    Why not cancel this year’s fair? We have a state rep who perceives there is a threat to the Governor, so obviously (because why would a elected official drum up a fake controversy) a threat to the safety of government officials. Why put Ag employees at risk if Rep. Bryant’s folks are actually the threat she claims they are?

  62. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:02 pm:

    Lose the DuQuion fair. We don’t need two state fairs. That will give them something to complain about.

  63. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:03 pm:

    Wouldnt it be real neat if all those backing the governors decision to drop the band showed up to the fair in record numbers. That’d show them racists.

  64. - A - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    I live down in the middle of these people. Please ignore them. Just more engineered rage where their anger ends when they close out Facebook. Many people like this aren’t very bright, have “School of Hard Knocks” listed as where they went to school.

    BTW, they might as well close the fair or sell off the grounds if someone else wants to run their own fair or plant corn or whatever.

  65. - Kippax Blue - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    As noted above–I would go wholly the other way and use the World-Class race track(s) and facilities to reinvest in the Horses. The horsemen have really taken it in the shorts for the last couple decades. And lets face it, nothing is more exciting than having $2 on the line and hearing “And Down The Stretch They Come”…State Fair and Big Purse Standardbred Racing…bring it back!

  66. - Alex Ander - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:13 pm:

    BTW, the same people rallying around a boycott will be the same ones throwing a fit if they shut down and ended the DuQuoin Fair.

    Just like the same people complaining about poor and crumbling infrastructure are the same ones that lose their minds about tax dollars when those things are repaired.

  67. - lakeside - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:13 pm:

    And to think, this all could have been solved with one little call to Adam Levine.

  68. - Dysfunction Junction - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    =Just what SIUC needs to attract students from NE Illinois.=

    SEIUalum, I grew up in Northern Illinois, and there is only one reason anyone I know *ever* went to SIUC: it was a legendary party school. Now it’s not even that. The status of the state fair(s) won’t change that. No one I grew up with ever mentioned having attended the state fair or even wanting to. That’s a downstate thing.

  69. - lincoln's beard - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    Southern Illinois has had its own State Fair for a nice 30 year run, but it’s time for another region to have a chance for a while. Shut down the Du Quoin State Fair and let’s have a state fair in Chicago for a while. I don’t see why Northern Illinois shouldn’t have its own state fair.

  70. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:26 pm:

    ===the same people rallying around a boycott will be the same ones throwing a fit===

    I mean, why do you think I posted this question? lol

  71. - filmmaker prof - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:26 pm:

    Yes. More cuts, no taxes ever.

  72. - Morningstar - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:29 pm:

    = I don’t see why Northern Illinois shouldn’t have its own state fair. =
    Sure, why not?
    State fairs for everyone.

  73. - Seats - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:31 pm:

    I say keep it alive based on attendance. Wikipedia showed me a surprising amount of states have multiple state fairs that are smaller than Illinois in size.

    Prior to seeing all of the fairs other states have, I would have said cancel it.

  74. - Alex Ander - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:35 pm:

    === I mean, why do you think I posted this question? lol ===

    I just want our upstate fellow Illinoisans know that the whole separatist movement are probably less than 5%. A good 25% probably sympathize but when it comes down to it the majority of those wouldn’t go for it.

    As for me, I’m not a dem or repub. I’m an independent that is proud of living in Illinois and want it to prosper. I wish I had a dollar for every person I’ve heard say “I’m leaving Illinois as soon as I can.” LOL Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

  75. - Dupage Bard - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:36 pm:

    No would be a really bad political move in the midst of running a CA on Fair Tax. The votes down there will be against Fair Tax, even though it will impact Chicago and the collars far more than anyone in Southern Illinois.
    However with the unions support you may actually have people who will listen. You cancel the Fair, this statewide split becomes inevitable. Racial and social commentary will be even worse in the GA. It will be really bad for Illinois as a whole.

  76. - Gooner - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:43 pm:

    Not to get off topic, but the people on that Facebook page there seem intent on proving what most people say about the confederate flag.

  77. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:45 pm:

    ===seem intent on proving what most people say about the confederate flag===

    Wholly predictable. They said their “protest” was about something that it wasn’t really about. The harsh, cold reality comes through loud and clear on that FB page.

  78. - lakeside - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:46 pm:

    ==want our upstate fellow Illinoisans know that the whole separatist movement are probably less than 5%==

    We know - speaking on behalf of the upstaters, we don’t think you guys are all nutters.

    But these guys are pitching their screams to that 25%. If the 75% were to call their offices frequently and tell them that they need to be quiet and stop making you all look bad before you meet them at the ballot box, might help. That’s what I’d do if I was embarrassed by my electeds.

    We do know they don’t represent the vast majority. They are also very, very loud. And absurd.

  79. - Groucho - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:48 pm:

    “Don’t let racists and Confederates dictate policy. They lost big in 2018″ They also lost big in 1865.

  80. - Annon3 - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:53 pm:

    Illinois does not need nor can it afford two State Fairs, focus on upgrading and expanding the Fair and fairgrounds in Springfield.
    While I have always enjoyed the State Fair, Wisconsin’s is nicer and closer to where I live.

  81. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 4:59 pm:

    Rich -

    It was me who pointed out back in mid-June on your blog that the band featured the Confederate Flag on its 2026 album cover.

    For some context: Dylan Roof murdered 9 black churchgoers in June, 2015 and within months the State of South Carolina, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Sears, eBay and yes even NASCAR and the Dukes of Hazzard distances themselves from the hateful symbol.

    Confederate Railroad released an album a full year later with the Confederate Flag on the cover.

    That said, we should not only keep funding the DuQouin State Fair, we should pay whatever it costs to get Alison Kraus and Union Station to perform next year. I mean, the artist with the most Emmys for country music is from Illinois, why are we settling from the seventh-best band ever from an Atlanta suburb?

  82. - illinoyed - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 5:01 pm:

    Why one set state fair? Have a different county host it every year. Spread the “economic engine” around, and just maybe, foster unity amongst Illinoisans, instead of division…

  83. - Been there, ate that (on a stick) - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 5:09 pm:

    I believe the DQSF should continue. As well as the main fair in Springfield. Even if you drop the “state” in the fair’s name, it’s worth it for the state to underwrite the expense of running the fair and particularly the horse racing it hosts, as that does have economic multiplier effects in a region sorely lacking in other economic development. There are people down there that make their entire nut for the year over just those ten days or so around the fair.

    The DuQouin fairgrounds actually now hosts events year-round as an exhibition venue with an indoor arena-type space. But the Fair is where everyone makes the biggest money.

    The horse racing game in Illinois used to be a powerhouse, from breeders to all the other ancillary services that go with racing horses, there are jobs created and money pumped into the local economy. Thompson saw this, Edgar understood it too, being a horse owner himself. Governors following them didn’t “get it” and so let things slide.

    I wanted to get it out on the floor that state fairs and county fairs are not meant to be self-supporting revenue generators. They are funded to stimulate and promote agricultural excellence that leads to positive ag market effects and superior food products we all enjoy. People who only concern themselves with the entertainment aspects of the fairs have a shallow understanding of the real purpose of the county fair system of ag competition and exhibition.

    But maybe the blame for that can be shared with previous fair managers who gave a lot of lip service to ag but spent most of their energy on the carnival and stage acts. That was their response to trying to make up for shortfalls in funding from the legislature.

  84. - Been There - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 5:17 pm:

    ===Why one set state fair? Have a different county host it every year===
    DuQuoin has the infrastructure that the county fairs don’t have. Mainly the size of the grandstand.

  85. - PrairieDog - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 5:39 pm:

    I think a precedent has already been set. What would you bet that in the future any entertainer who is at all controversial will attract enough negative attention when booked at any public sponsored event that there will be calls to cancel and there will be pressure on public officials to be strictly “even-handed” in making those decisions. I hope everyone is comfortable lying in the bed(s) they helped make…

  86. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 5:58 pm:

    = I don’t see why Northern Illinois shouldn’t have its own state fair. =

    They do, it’s called the “Sandwich Fair.”

  87. - Cable Line Beer Gardener - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 6:06 pm:

    Our local (Watseka) paper has an article from the Capitol News titled Culture Clash at the Fair. Odd spin by the author who identifies the Governor as a “Chicago Democrat” who is being blamed for the cancellation of the band. Keep the fair but select better entertainment.

  88. - Nieva - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 7:16 pm:

    Yep shut it down. Then send the capital and the other fair to Chicago so Rich can boat on the big lake.

  89. - South Side Sam - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 8:19 pm:

    don’t let censors ruin the fair

  90. - DQCardsFan - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 8:27 pm:

    As a native of Du Quoin, my first, emotional reaction is to save the fair at all costs. That aside, I read lots of conjecture here about the “value” to Southern Illinois, and the cynical side of me says “Based on what?” There has been no economic impact analysis done to quantity the economic importance of the fair to the region in my memory. SIUC’s Office of Economic and Regional Development, if provided some funding, is perfectly capable of measuring that with validity. Before decisions are made based on the whining of the disgruntled, understand what the fair REALLY means to the region.

  91. - thechampaignlife - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 8:59 pm:

    Here is a good read on a copperhead topic:

  92. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 9:08 pm:

    That FB page has gotten much worse this afternoon.

    There are multiple people calling for armed revolt.

  93. - LINK - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 9:27 pm:

    I had to go back and read the question again for after reading all the _____ above from so many here I thought I had somehow been transported to that Facebook page…

    Anyway, the State Fair(s) are not just about horse racing, entertainment and corn dogs. In fact, “State fairs began in the nineteenth century for the purpose of promoting state agriculture, through competitive exhibitions of livestock and display of farm products.” And class, what is the number one industry in Illinois in terms of economic impact? Yep, Agriculture.

    Agriculture contributes more than $8.85 billion to the state’s economy annually according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

    And now, this time a band and a group of ____ on Facebook and the like has got you all riled up to put it to southern Illinois?

    Let me tell you from what I’ve witnessed and lived through it isn’t all that easy making a living south of, I was going to say I80, but south of I64. I had aunt’s in Massac County that still cooked off a wood burning stove and had a hand-crank pump for “indoor” plumbing well into the 1960’s.

    I digress.

    I mean this state funds a lot of things, through direct appropriation and indirect funding of activities like festivals, fairs and expositions. Heck, according to, there are at least 658 events scheduled this year, and I bet a few receive some of the aforementioned support - forgive me as I’m not conversant on exploding this.

    What I’m trying to say is we should continue to support the two State Fairs, at least for now, and in my opinion try to make them better, more inclusive while retaining their primary focus of agriculture.

    Instead of castigating some downstaters, give recognition to the regional diversity and beef up support of our State Fair(s).
    After all, they have evolved from their initial focus on agricilture, to where we are today, a more service oriented economy (people wise).

    I recognize the difficulty of balance in today’s society but let’s not throw the baby out with the dirty dish water. Also, no bandaid approach. Let the Governor face it head on (if he chooses, and I personally hope he does) and bring together the legislators, the business people from the primary sectors, farmers (private and corporate) and Joe Blow to make it better, not discard it.

    There is certainly room in modern state fairs to not only include carnival amusement rides and games, displays of industrial products, automobile and horseback racing, and entertainment such as musical concerts, that reflects Illinois as a people. For even in describing Illinois, the website for the says, “Illinois is often considered a microcosm of the entire United States, with its diverse cultural influences and varied landscape.”

    Let’s take a page from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and it’s Division of Natural Heritage which has a stated mission, “of the Division of Natural Heritage to protect, restore, manage, and promote the responsible use of the Illinois’ native flora and fauna, natural …” and apply those same principals to managing and promoting our two State Fairs. After all, we’re a pretty big state aren’t we?

    Whew, typed all that on my cell had wore me out.

  94. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Tuesday, Jul 16, 19 @ 10:43 pm:

    Fund it and let Steve Earle headline (you learn something new every day on Cap Fax). And, let the bottom fifty or seventy-five miles of the state secede and attach themselves to Tennessee, they’d be happier, Cook County would be happier, win-win for everybody.

    Heck, the next time New Madrid hiccups, there’s going to be a huge rebuild of all the infrastructure needed anyway, may as well let Nashville fund it.

  95. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 6:46 am:

    ==Fund it and let Steve Earle headline (you learn something new every day on Cap Fax). And, let the bottom fifty or seventy-five miles of the state secede and attach themselves to Tennessee, they’d be happier, Cook County would be happier, win-win for everybody.==
    They don’t want to secede. According to Alex Ander only 5 to 25% want that. I’m surprised the percentage is even that high.
    But I agree on Steve Earl. I would drive the eight hours to see him.

  96. - Mugwump - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 7:31 am:

  97. - Mugwump - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 7:37 am:

    This memorial is on the courthouse grounds in Charleston.

  98. - Dude - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 8:04 am:

    LINK changed my mind.

  99. - Lurkin' MBA - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 8:04 am:

    Who here among the current and former state employees, would commit a few percent of their salary & pension to supporting these fairs?
    The state is broke. Time to save before important expenditures get clipped by bond vigilantes.

  100. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 8:11 am:

    ===…among the current and former state employees…===

    Those meddling state employees ruin everything.


  101. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 8:33 am:

    =Who here among the current and former state employees, would commit a few percent of their salary & pension to supporting these fairs?
    The state is broke. Time to save before important expenditures get clipped by bond vigilantes.=

    I bet your Facebook group is a doozy.

  102. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 8:56 am:

    – Who here among the current and former state employees, would commit a few percent of their salary & pension to supporting these fairs? –

    Trade your COLA for a beer garden.
    I’ve heard worse ideas.

  103. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 9:16 am:

    - LINK -

    I appreciate your very thoughtful comment. I’m glad you wrote it.

    Thank you.


  104. - anon2 - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 9:44 am:

    If Southern Illinois got the same return on their state tax dollars that the suburbs get, then there would be no money for a second state fair. Since the separatists claim they don’t get their fair share of state spending, how about making it equal for all regions? Surely they couldn’t complain about that.

  105. - LINK - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    I try to build, repair and make positive adjustments to make things better.

    All too often society focuses on the problems, many times with a divisive bent, instead of focussing on solutions to make it better.

    I try to be inclusive as well, which is challenging, but it can produce strategies that probably won’t make everyone happy, yet can yield long term and range positive results.

    In order to achieve a long-term goal(s), you have to make incremental changes…

    Kind of basic but gets lost in all the me, me, me “stuff.”

    EVERYTHING needs and deserves “cultivation.”

    Look that up in your Funk and Wagnells.

  106. - Dysfunction Junction - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    Kudos to LINK for his long, thoughtful post. There’s a lot there to digest, but it seems that Rich’s readership exhibits a higher level of compassion than some vocal Facebook fanatics. Hand-crank plumbing in Massac County really put things in perspective for me. Sounds a lot like my grandpa’s farm up in Morrison when I was a kid (there was still an outhouse on the premises).

    Capital Fax readers are not only compassionate but also value facts, so here are a few taken from the latest “Monthly Labor Force Statistics for Economic Development Regions (EDRs)” on the IDES website (all figures from May 2019):

    The Southern EDR comprises 19 counties, including Massac where your aunts lived. They reported a labor force of 167,223. Of that, 6849 people were unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 4.1%

    The Northwest EDR comprises 10 counties, including Whiteside where my grandpa’s family farm was, the Quad Cities, and several counties along the Upper Mississippi. They reported a labor force of 248,120. 10,108 people were unemployed, yielding an identical unemployment rate of 4.1%

    The adjacent Northern Stateline EDR has only 4 counties and includes the economically depressed city of Rockford. They reported a Labor force of 214,878 Illinoisans, along with 10,732 unemployed residents. That makes a significantly higher unemployment rate of 5.0%

    Taken together, the Northwest and Northern Stateline EDRs have nearly three times as many Illinois residents and significantly worse unemployment than the Southern EDR. To date, I have not heard any proposals for a third state fair to assist them, nor have I heard any rumblings of secession from that corner of the state. What would it take for Pritzker and company to help support the poor folks from the land of *my* forefathers?

  107. - cudawodashuda - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 4:42 pm:

    Costello’s replacement in the House of Reps. will be defeated if the Fair closes. The Governor needs to keep that in mind or maybe he just doesn’t care.

  108. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 17, 19 @ 4:45 pm:

    ===The Governor needs to keep that in mind or maybe he just doesn’t care. ===

    He’s not the one calling for a boycott. Some goofy locals are.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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