Budget Woes Threaten County Fairs

Organizers vow to do their best

Thursday, Jun 10, 2010  |  Updated 8:45 AM CDT
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Budget Woes Threaten County Fairs

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DEL MAR, CA - JUNE 29: Fair-goers enjoy rides and games at dusk during the San Diego County Fair June 29, 2005 in Del Mar, California. The fair features games, rides, live entertainment, livestock shows, food and much more and is one of the 10 largest fairs in North America. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

It’s all fun and games until the fun and games are ruined.  

Illinois budget woes have reached the point where they’re going to affect county fairs.
 
That could lead to shoddy cotton candy, substandard ears of corn and truncated rides on the tilt-a-whirl.
 
As the fair season gets underway in counties around the state, fair organizers say they’re still waiting for state payments from last summer.
 
Jeff Squibb of the Illinois Department of Agriculture says premium payments for many 4-H and other exhibitors still haven't been paid from last year.
 
Squibb says the vouchers have been processed and sent to the comptroller's office, and he says they'll be paid as soon as funds become available.
 
That doesn't help fair organizers, who are having to make do with what they've got.
 
Some are cutting spending even more this year. And they say they're doing their best to make sure fairgoers don't notice the reductions.

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