Illinois State Fair causes stir with route change

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Parade officials are receiving criticism for their decision to move the traditional route for the annual Illinois State Fair.

The State Journal-Register reports that the Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade scheduled for Aug. 10 in Springfield. It will now start in the city’s Lincoln Park and go north, bypassing a street it has passed through for years.

Mayor Jim Langfelder says he opposes the route change because it interferes with the city’s tradition.

Rebecca Clark, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Agriculture, says the new route will provide handicapped-accessible bathrooms, more shade and water fountains for participants and spectators.

Clark says the change in route will save costs because fewer streets will need to be blocked off. The parade is expected to drop from $10,000 to less than $5,000.