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Be Weather Wise While Visiting Illinois State Fair
Illinois Ag Connection - 08/09/2019

In Illinois, Mother Nature can provide a rollercoaster of weather conditions during the month of August. From heat waves to severe weather, Illinois State Fair officials want to remind fairgoers to be weather wise while visiting the 2019 Illinois State Fair.

Throughout the course of the eleven-day event, Illinois State Fair staff works collaboratively with the National Weather Service, Illinois State Police and local emergency responders to stay ahead of changing weather patterns. Daily weather briefings and 24/7 access to weather information allows the Illinois State Fair staff to address the needs of fairgoers throughout the event.

Severe Weather:

The Illinois State Fair's emergency action plan details coordination between the National Weather Service (NWS), the Illinois State Police (ISP) and fair officials. The NWS will provide telephone notifications of imminent hazardous weather threats and/or high impact weather events immediately and around the clock to ensure all necessary personnel are informed of the changing weather conditions. Should severe weather occur during the fair, fairgoers will be alerted by announcements over the public-address system and via push notifications from the Illinois State Fair mobile app.

"If severe weather were to occur, fairgoers will be directed to shelter in place. It's important to note that fairgoers should never attempt to ride out a storm in a tent," said State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. "Find a permanent structure such as the Dairy Building, Grandstand, Emmerson Building, or a building that has clear signage marking it as a designated shelter for thunderstorms or tornadoes."

"The Illinois State Police is proud to partner with Illinois State Fair officials and encourages all fairgoers to remain vigilant and exercise caution during inclement weather," said Acting ISP Director Brendan Kelly. "Visitors are reminded to monitor weather conditions and promptly follow instructions if directed by State Fair staff."

Beat the Heat:

During hot summer days, it is important to stay safe while enjoying outdoor events. This includes staying hydrated, applying sunscreen, and recognizing the signs of heat illness. The Illinois State Fair offers countless fun activities in air-conditioned buildings and water misters throughout the fairgrounds. There are more than half a dozen different cooling stations located on the fairgrounds, each clearly identified on fairground maps and the mobile app.

Additionally, volunteers from SIU Medicine operate a First Aid station in the Emmerson Building Annex, on Central Avenue near the Dairy Building. Volunteers are trained to respond to victims of injury or illness. The First Aid station is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Other general fairgoer safety inforation includes:

- The Lost and Found Children's Center is located south of the grandstand on Grandstand Avenue. The Illinois State Police broadcasts emergency announcements from their booth on Illinois Avenue and from their headquarters on Grandstand Avenue. The center is open daily during regular fair hours.

- Anyone needing assistance in an emergency should seek out the nearest Illinois State Police trooper, stop at Illinois State Police headquarters on Grandstand Avenue, or call 9-1-1.

The Illinois State Fair runs through Aug. 18 in Springfield.

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