Illinois State Fair opens today, 800-pound butter cow already unveiled


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois State Fair opens Thursday in Springfield.

The fair’s most popular attraction is the big creamy butter cow. This is the 100th anniversary of the dairy attraction.

The governor and First Lady, M.K. Pritzker, helped unveil the 2021 butter cow, an 800-pound sculpture which serves as the unofficial trademark of the State Fair. 

Kelsi Kessler, the 2020-21 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen, called the butter cow unveiling an “utter delight.”

The fair will also offer six sites where people can get a COVID vaccination.

Last year’s fair was canceled because of the pandemic.

The fair will kick off Thursday with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and the annual Twilight Parade.

“This is one of the great attractions that I think we all missed,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said on Wednesday.

Some familiar pandemic precautions will be in place, such as indoor mask requirements, and vaccination tents. Fair staff will request proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within the last three days from people seeking admission to the grandstand or standing room only areas where large crowds will gather for concerts. 

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