Illinois fair facilities to be ready without major upgrades

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois officials say the fairgrounds in Springfield and DuQuoin will be ready for summer state fairs, but that major updates await private fundraising and a state spending plan.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says extra funds are available for the department to use in an emergency, like the disruptions caused by flash flooding during the 2016 Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

The State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/2s0RlT8 ) reports the department has used $600,000 from the Capital Development Board’s emergency fund to enclose a warm-up arena before the 76th annual Midwest Charity Horse Show this week.

The show traditionally has been held in the coliseum, but the 116-year-old facility was shut down for safety reasons in October. It’s expected to stay closed through the Illinois State Fair.