Vendors say state fair business is down
The 2018 State Fair is heading into its final weekend and some vendors say they feel that business has been slow this year.
Fair goers also say they feel like attendance has gone down over the years.
“On Saturdays when we first started coming, the streets would be so crowded, you'd be dodging people as you walked down,” O’Fallon, Illinois resident Gail Long said. “You might get runover by a golf cart if you're not careful. That's not at all possible now. You could go bowling down the street and not hit anybody."
Businesses say they're feeling it, too.
"Business is down tremendously,” said Lindsey England, co-owner of Another Day Another Donut. “It was good Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but since then it's really cut down. I don't know if it's the weather or what."
Last year the Illinois State Fair brought in roughly 400,000 people. Fair managers aren't sure of the number yet this year.
"Eyeballing the grounds everyday I’ve been out, I think we had a great first weekend, had great concerts, you know, Monday, Tuesday was good,” Illinois State Fair manager Luke Sailer said. “Wednesday, you know, we see a lot of schools start."
Some vendors did not have their booths open the final Friday of the state fair.
"Where we are in the Hobby, Arts and Crafts building, where we're in a baking contest, they have lots of different demonstrations that go on in there and there's maybe like two people in the audience, where in years past all the chairs would be filled,” Monmouth resident Denise Turnbull said.
Some fair goers say they've seen several things go away over the years, such as the Clydesdales, divers and Happy Hallow for kids.
"That's what the Thrillville area represents is kind of taking place of that dive show with the Pirates of the Sky, the hypnotist act, along with our BMX half pipe," said Sailer.
On Sunday, the general admission price is lowered to $5 per adult to encourage more families to enjoy the last day of the fair.