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Fair to Honor Longtime Vendors as Twilight Parade Grand Marshals
Illinois Ag Connection - 08/09/2017

In keeping with the 2017 Illinois State Fair theme, Manager Kevin Gordon announced Tuesday that the Vose Family, the Cullers Family and Coleman Family will serve as the Grand Marshals of the 2017 Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade. Combined, the families have been a member of the State Fair family for 176 years.

"The Illinois State Fair is what it is today because of the dedication of our loyal fair vendors," said State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. "When you ask fairgoers to name their favorite fair food, undoubtedly one of these three families are mentioned. I thank them for their service and for sharing their love of the Illinois State Fair with not only their families, but generations of fairgoers."

Bob Vose has been a fixture on the Illinois State Fairgrounds for more than 52 years. His corndog stand along Grandstand Avenue is known for its long lines, speedy service, and friendly atmosphere. To this day, Voses Corndog stand is a family business with at least three generations serving up the famous fair food this year.

Culler's Fries has been a staple on the Illinois State Fairgrounds since 1965. The business was started by Jim Culler's Uncle Forrest who came up with the idea following his time in World War II. Jim Culler even credits his French fry business with introducing him to his one true love, Darcie. After more than seven generations in the fair food business, Culler's French Fries will make 72 years of service at this year's Illinois State Fair.

Coleman's Concessions has been feeding hungry fairgoers at the Illinois State Fair since 1965, a tradition proudly started by founders Jack & Peg Coleman. This year the younger generations will take the reins following the passing of their family's patriarch, Jack, this past November.

Jack loved being at the Illinois State Fair, a passion shared with each of his children and grandchildren. This year, you can bet Jack will be watching over the next generation as they serve up their world famous Cozy Dogs and Shakeups for fairgoers of all ages.

The Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade will kick off Thursday, August 10th at 5:30 pm from its new staging area inside Lincoln Park, just south of the Nelson Center. From there, the parade will travel north to Sangamon Avenue and turn left into the Main Gate of the fairgrounds. The parade will then follow Main Street through the fairgrounds to Grandstand Avenue before concluding at the north end of the Grandstand. Awards will be presented after the parade to the best entries at the Commodities Pavilion.

Admission to the fairgrounds is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors and kids 12 and under are free on Preview Day (Thursday). All carnival rides, including those in Adventure Village, will be open by 5:00pm and offered at a discounted price.

Following the Twilight Parade, a free concert will be offered in the Grandstand. The classic rock band, Foghat, will perform around 8pm following the conclusion of the Twilight Parade. No concert tickets are necessary and all seating is general admission. Fairgoers are encouraged to pack the Grandstand for this free concert featuring some unforgettable classic rock hits.

The 2017 Illinois State Fair will take place Aug. 10-20 in Springfield. Start planning your trip today by visiting www.IllinoisStateFair.info or by downloading our free mobile app, available for both Apple and Android devices.

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