Pork Expo returns to Springfield after 33-year absence

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Pork Expo is coming back in Springfield for the first time in 33 years. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports as many as 4,000 hog producers, industry representatives and vendors are expected for this year’s expo Feb. 16-17. The expo was last held in Springfield in 1983 and has been in Peoria each year since. Illinois Pork Producers president Curt Zehr says organizers wanted to get producers closer to state legislators. He says this year’s expo has been combined with an annual legislative lobby day traditionally held in March. Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Gina Gemberling says she thinks a major renovation of the Prairie Capital Convention Center played a part in getting back the expo. Zehr says plans are for the annual expo to stay in Springfield.