SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Those interested in participating in the 25th annual Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade and Marching Band Competition must act soon; the deadline to enter is July 8, 2011.
All entrants must fill out an application, which is available on the Illinois State Fair website, as well as submit a description and either a photography or drawing of their entry. A committee then will screen the applications and select entrants based upon their entertainment value and conformance to the theme of the fair, which is "We've Got a Good Thing Growing."
The Twilight Parade Marching Band Competition will honor the Lincoln Way Knights as its 2011 Honor Band. The competition area is located in front of the Reviewing Stand inside the Main Gate of the Fairgrounds. Cash prizes ranging from $100 to $2,000 will be awarded to 1st through 12th places. Awards also will be handed out for the Outstanding Drum Major and Majorette, Outstanding Drum Section and Outstanding Color Guard.
After the parade, the fair will recognize the most creative participants with awards and cash prizes. The most prestigious award is the Governor's Sweepstakes Award, which is open to all float entries. The top overall winner will receive $300.
In addition, there will be two, separate judging categories for commercial and non-commercial entries, with first place receiving the Grand Marshal's Award, second place receiving the Director's Award and third place receiving the Illinois State Fair Award. The winners will receive $150, $50 and $25 respectively.
For a complete list of judging criteria, the parade rules and regulations and a parade application, visit http://www.illinoisstatefair.info/ or call (217) 782-0777. The parade will take place on Preview Day, Aug. 11, at 6 p.m.
The junior livestock entry and ethics deadlines for all species except horses have been extended. Entries now either must be delivered to the Illinois State Fair Competitive Events Office or post-marked by midnight July 8. No fax entries are allowed. The Competitive Events Office is open weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The Quality Assurance and Ethics Training website has been reopened for exhibitors to obtain their QA&E Certification and will remain online until the midnight July 8 deadline. The web address is: http//web.extension.illinois.edu/qaec.
The entry deadline for most open livestock shows remains July 1. The only exceptions are the poultry and rabbit shows, which have July 10 deadlines. Questions should be directed to the Competitive Events Office at (217) 782-0786.
The Illinois State Fair will be held Aug. 12 - 21.