Illinois State Fair
The Illinois State fair is an annual festival, centering on the theme of agriculture, hosted by the U.S. state of Illinois in the state capital, Springfield. The fair has been celebrated almost every year since 1853. In 2006 there were more than 700,000 visits up five percent from 2005, making it the 13th largest state fair in the United States. Currently, the fair is held annually over a 10-day period in mid-August of each year. In 2009, the State Fair will be held on August 14-23. The Illinois State Fair played a key role in the popularization of the corn dog, starting in 1946. The fair has long been noted for its annual butter cow, a life-size animal formed of pure butter applied to an armature by a sculptor wielding an oversized palette knife.