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First day of State Fair in the books with thousands in the street

First day of State Fair in the books with thousands in the street. (WICS)

The coming days will be filled with food, music and fun at the State Fairgrounds with day one in the books.

A lot of people were excited about the new parade route from Lincoln Park to the fair grounds.

People were lined up in anticipation, hours before the parade came down Sangamon Avenue.

"It's actually a little nicer," said Robert Anders, Springfield. "It's a little more wide open. I think a little more room for everybody to see what's going on."

While everyone I talked with like the new parade route, the Illinois State Fair's corn dogs were the main topic of conversation.

"First, you wait all year for it because I don't get it anywhere else other than the state fair, and then get in line, get your corn dog, get your mustard and ketchup on it," said Donna Oltmanns, Springfield.

A variety of food and the parade were the stars of Thursday's kickoff.

"It's amazing," said Cheryl Hicks, Springfield. "It's people and all kinds of exciting foods, rides, it's just wonderful."

A variety of Illinois color guards, high schools and volunteer groups followed various law enforcement vehicles.

Candy was thrown to excited kids in the street.

"There's so much excitement going around," Hicks said. "Kids are getting ready for school and this is their last big thing. A lot of kids don't get to do anything besides this for their big summer highlight."

Just a lot of good vibes, mild weather and smiling faces spread around the first day of the fair.

"I think the biggest thing are the kids, they get excited when the floats come by, the candy's getting tossed," Anders said. "Some of them will get a little out of hand with it. They get a pile of candy and a bunch of kids racing. I think that's kind of fun to watch."

More than 70 county fair queens and 105 fairs and expositions from across the state will be represented Friday.

Friday also the first day of the harness racing at the fair's mile-long dirt track.

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