The DuQuoin State Fair is an 11-day event that has been gracing the Illinois calendar since 1923. Celebrating the themes of country music and agriculture, it’s a must-attend event that appeals to a broad range of people.
Each year, the DuQuoin State Fair happens at the tail end of summer and the welcoming of fall, ending on Labor Day. It’s held on the picturesque Du Quoin State Fairgrounds which encompasses 1,200 acres and lies adjacent to Du Quoin, a southern Illinois township.
The fairgrounds, which run along U.S. Route 51, are truly something special, and both young and old will appreciate all this DuQuoin State Fair has to offer within its gates. There are entertainment options galore, music, fair rides, plenty of vendor treats, and even ample opportunities for shopping.
If you love the more traditional makeup of a state fair, then you’ll also enjoy the exhibits, displays, and livestock entries as well. Finally, you can tie this entire package together by camping on site for the next 11 days with service hookups and proximity to all life’s adventures in the area.
If you haven’t yet planned your summer holidays, then maybe it’s time to enter 655 Executive Drive, Du Quoin, Illinois, on your RV GPS and let it take you to the DuQuoin State Fair.
Tickets to the fair are available at the gate, with pricing for adults and children. In past years, children 12 and under have been free. You can also buy admission booklets that offer bulk tickets at discounted pricing. For all current pricing schedules, you can visit the DuQuoin State Fair website. You may also like to visit the Cash Office in the fairground’s grandstand to pre-purchase tickets and save time.
With Labor Day just around the corner, you can expect the major highways to be busy. When you hit the road in the direction of the DuQuoin State Fair, allow extra time for congestion and traffic.
Du Quoin, Illinois is on one of the major north-south arteries in America, U.S. Route 51. It’s also a short 90-minute drive from St. Louis, Missouri. From all directions, you can take major highways I-64, I-24, and 1-57 to get to the fair adjacent to the City of De Quoin.
Parking with your RV at the DuQuoin State Fair will not be a problem if you intend on staying at the fairgrounds. Visit the Campground office and enter through Gate 3 at the north end by Route 51 where camp officials will check your RV’s length.
As camping is on a first-in, first-served basis, you may only find space to park on site daily, but not stay. If that’s the case, there are multiple paid parking areas that may be suitable. The main lot is near Route 14, Gate 1 is from U.S. Route 51, and Gate 4 parking is from Jackson Street. There will be an area for large vehicles that may work for your RV.
Both buses and private ride services are available in Du Quoin and surrounding areas. These may come in handy if you find yourself camping out of the area. However, these may not take you directly to the fairgrounds. Once you get to the fair, a tram will provide convenient transport around the 1,200 acres.
If you are fortunate enough to be an early bird to the DuQuoin State Fair, then park your RV in one of the 1,000-plus camping sites with both water and electricity. There is also unlimited primitive camping, a dump station, fishing lake access, two bathhouses with showers and toilets, and affordable per-night rates.
If you’re bringing your pet along for the ride, make sure they’re on a leash at all times. You must also display a parking placard in your camper, and buy additional ones for other vehicles you may park as well. Once you pay your admission fee, you will receive multiple wristbands to gain access to the fair.
The spectacular surroundings of the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mean that the available camping spots are in hot demand. If you miss out, you may need to look around Illinois to see what else is available.
There are dozens of camping options within a 45-mile radius of the fairgrounds. No matter where you choose to call home for the next 11 days, you’ll find it’s always an easy drive to the fairgrounds each day. Some of the RV parks, camping grounds, and RV resorts offer service hookups for your convenience as well.
If you would prefer to leave your RV at your campsite and make your way to the fairgrounds by alternative transport methods, then you’re not short of options. There are private taxi services and buses in operation. Consult the local transportation center for information on bus timetables.
With 1,200 acres to navigate, it won’t be long until your feet tire and you’ll want to rest. To ensure you don’t burn out long before you’ve seen all the entertainment, fair officials offer transportation trams. These trams are free for fair-goers and take you throughout the fairgrounds at various intervals. Scooters, bikes, golf carts, and shuttles are prohibited.
Because the DuQuoin State Fair happens at the tail end of summer, you still get to enjoy some of that gorgeous weather that graces the area. Historical weather patterns show that you probably won’t need a rain jacket or even sweater and may want to leave those in the RV. Pack light, breathable layers, comfortable footwear, a trusty pair of shorts, and a few t-shirts to keep you comfortable and fresh.
The DuQuoin State Fair offers many guest services to make your visit as pleasant as possible. There are ATMs to withdraw cash and refreshment stations for you to remain hydrated throughout the event. As you will be going through gate security, you may like to pack only the bare essentials to speed up the entry process.
With high temperatures on the horizon, you need to put your health and safety to the fore. Pack sunscreen, a sunhat, drinking water, and all prescription medication you’ll need for your entire RV vacation. You can also make use of the many refreshment stations which offer shady areas, seats, and water.
If you’re feeling peckish, you may have no qualms about cooking back at your RV using your personal cooker. You are also allowed to use above-ground fire pits at your camping site but no other open fires. If you’re short on ingredients, there’s a market within a six-minute drive of the DuQuoin State Fair campground for convenience. Remember, never leave your cooking unattended.
If you tire of fair food, or want to experience all Illinois has to offer, then head into town and see what you can find. Within a short ten-minute drive, you can find yourself surrounded by quality eating establishments to satisfy your hunger. There are plenty of options for couples, families, or individual diners who need something on the go.
The entire midway is packed full of vendors to make your visit to the fair a memorable one. Whether you want to try a new cuisine, chow down on a corn dog, or satisfy your sweet tooth with cotton candy, there’s something for everyone. Most sites offer cash and credit, but you can also withdraw cash from the ATMs for cash-only vendors. There are also plenty of seating areas to sit and enjoy your snacks.
DuQuoin State Fair ramped up security back in recent years to make all patrons feel safe. Illinois State Police will be on site with walking patrols, gate security, monitored surveillance cameras, and even undercover officers. You are also not allowed to bring weapons onto fairground property. Violators can be subject to arrest and fines.
Weather conditions are typically hot toward the end of August and at the beginning of September. You’ll want plenty of ventilation in your RV and light layers for ultimate comfort during the day. Given the possibility of stunning days, you may even find time to explore the lakes and water holes in the region to cool off.
Both the DuQuoin Fire Department and area ambulance services are on site, prepared for any medical emergency. If you have a minor injury, you can also make use of the first aid station at the north end of the grandstand. If you require additional help, a hospital is within a 15-minute drive and a pharmacy within two miles.