SPRINGFIELD — Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Hiram Grau announced safety and security plans for the 2011 Illinois State Fair. “The Illinois State Fair begins on Friday, August 12, and is expected to draw thousands of tourists and citizens statewide,” said ISP Director Grau. “State fairs and parades are an opportunity for families, neighbors, and friends to come together to celebrate. We want them to celebrate responsibly, which is why we are reminding the public about safety concerns,” he added.
Due to the forecasted cooler temperatures, the fair is expected to draw even larger crowds this year. The Illinois State Police, along with Illinois State Fair organizers, encourage families and participants to take advantage of the celebrations with public safety in mind. Director Grau stressed the importance of working co-operatively with Fair organizers and local businesses, and applauded their efforts to make sure public safety plans are well coordinated.
The Illinois State Police will have more than 150 officers assigned to the State Fair, along with a full complement of resources and specialized units to provide public safety. The carnival area will also be closely monitored by surveillance cameras, along with non-uniformed officers.
The Illinois State Police, along with the Springfield Police and Sangamon County Sherriff’s Office, will conduct joint details outside of Gates 1 and 2 nightly from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. to closely monitor and enforce public safety issues such as illegal parking, loitering before and after events, disorderly conduct, excessive adult alcohol consumption, and illegal alcohol consumption by minors.
The Springfield Fire Department is also prepared for emergency medical services during the event, and the Red Cross First Aid Station is located near the southwest corner of the Emerson Building. Fairgoers are reminded to stay hydrated.
The ISP Fairground Central Headquarters is located behind the Grandstand, and an ISP Information Booth is located across from the Midway Carnival.
“The State Fair is an Illinois tradition and nationally recognized event, and we want everyone to enjoy the performances and fairground festivities safely,” said Director Grau.