The Illinois State Fair is an annual event held every August in Springfield, Illinois. It features concerts, exhibits, competitions, carnival rides, food, and more. If you’re planning on attending the fair, you’ll need to purchase tickets in advance online or at the gate during the event.
When and Where is the Illinois State Fair?
The Illinois State Fair takes place every year in August for 11 days at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. The fairgrounds are located near the intersections of Sangamon Ave and Peoria Rd. The 2023 fair dates are August 10-20.
The fair is open from 8:00 AM to midnight each day. Some buildings, exhibits, and vendors may have varying hours, so check the schedule if you’re interested in a specific attraction.
How Much Do Illinois State Fair Tickets Cost?
Admission ticket prices to the Illinois State Fair vary based on the day and time you attend:
|Monday – Thursday (before 4pm)
|Monday – Thursday (after 4pm)
|Friday – Sunday & Holidays
|Children 12 & under
Parking at the fair costs $10 per day. There are ATMs available on site if you need cash.
Where Can I Buy Illinois State Fair Tickets?
You have a few different options for purchasing Illinois State Fair tickets before the event:
The easiest way to buy tickets is online through the Illinois State Fair’s website. You can purchase single day passes or full 11-day admission passes. This ensures you have tickets ahead of time without waiting in line.
To buy online:
- Go to www.illinoisstatefair.info
- Click “Buy Tickets” link
- Select your ticket type and quantity
- Enter your payment information
- Print or save your tickets to your phone to scan at the gate
You can order Illinois State Fair tickets over the phone by calling 1-800-514-3849. This hotline is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm. Have your payment information ready when you call.
In Person Locations
You can buy tickets at the following locations in the weeks leading up to the fair:
- Illinois State Fair Box Office – Springfield, IL
- QuikTrip – Select locations around Springfield, IL
- Schnucks – Select locations around Springfield, IL
- County Market – Select locations around Springfield, IL
Check the Illinois State Fair website for specific locations and operating hours where you can purchase tickets. Buying ahead of time at physical locations helps avoid long waits to get through the gate.
Buying Illinois State Fair Tickets at the Gate
You can also buy Illinois State Fair tickets when you arrive at any gate entrance. Tickets can be purchased with cash, credit/debit cards, or Apple Pay. ATMs are also available on site if needed.
To avoid the longest waits, plan to arrive early in the morning or later at night. Ticket lines are shortest on weekdays compared to weekends.
Getting Discounted Illinois State Fair Tickets
There are a few ways to get discounted admission tickets to the Illinois State Fair:
- Buy advance tickets online – Online tickets are $2 cheaper than gate prices for adults.
- Attend on Discount Days – Special $5 admission days occur each Monday – Thursday before 4pm.
- Look for coupons – Watch for Illinois State Fair coupon codes online or in local ads and publications.
- Enter contests – Radio stations, websites, and businesses may give away free fair tickets through contests and promotions.
Kids 12 and under, veterans, and seniors 65+ get in for free every day. Also check for discounts on rides and food by looking for coupons online or in the fair program guide when you arrive.
Getting to the Illinois State Fair
The Illinois State Fairgrounds are located in Springfield, IL. There are a few ways you can get to the fair:
If driving, take I-55 and use Exit 100A toward Sangamon Ave/Peoria Rd. Parking costs $10 per day at designated lots around the fairgrounds.
You can take the Sangamon Mass Transit buses to the fair for just $1 each way. Buses run to and from the fairgrounds daily while the fair is open. Check routes and schedules on the SMT website.
Apps like Uber and Lyft operate in Springfield. This is a convenient option to get dropped off and picked up at the fairground entrance.
What You Need to Know Inside the Fair
Once you’re inside the Illinois State Fair, here are some good things to know:
- Pick up a map and schedule at the entry gates
- Bring sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes
- ATMs and water refill stations are available on site
- No pets are allowed unless they are service animals
- Smoking is only permitted in designated areas
- Re-entry is allowed so you can come and go
Be sure to check out the agricultural exhibits, concerts, carnival rides, animal shows, vendor booths, competitions, and of course the wide variety of delicious fair food!
Attending the Illinois State Fair is a fun summer tradition for many in the state. Following this guide makes it quick and easy to get your admission tickets ahead of time online, at local vendors, or at the gate. With your tickets ready, all that’s left is getting to Springfield and enjoying everything the fair has to offer.