Fair officials urge fairgoers to be mindful of weather during state fair

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SPRINGFIELD (WEEK) — As the Illinois State Fair is set to begin, fair officials are reminding fairgoers to be mindful of the weather when they visit.

In case of severe weather, fairgoers will be alerted by public address announcements and via push alerts from the Illinois State Fair mobile app.

The state fair’s emergency action plan details coordination between the National Weather Service, the Illinois State Police and fair officials, according to a release. The NWS will provide telephone notifications of imminent hazardous weather threats and/or high-impact weather events immediately and around the clock to ensure all necessary personnel are informed of the changing weather conditions. 

“If severe weather were to occur, fairgoers will be directed to shelter in place,” state fair manager Kevin Gordon said. “It’s important to note that fairgoers should never attempt to ride out a storm in a tent.”

“Find a permanent structure such as the Dairy Building, Grandstand, Emmerson Building, or a building that has clear signage marking it as a designated shelter for thunderstorms or tornadoes.”

Officials also urge staying safe outdoors during hot summer days — by staying hydrated, applying sunscreen and recognizing the signs of heat illness.

There are more than half a dozen different cooling stations located on the fairgrounds, each clearly identified on fairground maps and the mobile app.

Volunteers from SIU Medicine operate a First Aid station in the Emmerson Building Annex, on Central Avenue near the Dairy Building.  Volunteers are trained to respond to victims of injury or illness.  The First Aid station is open from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm daily.

OTHER GENERAL FAIRGOER SAFETY INFO:

The Lost and Found Children’s Center is located south of the grandstand on Grandstand Avenue.  The Illinois State Police broadcasts emergency announcements from their booth on Illinois Avenue and from their headquarters on Grandstand Avenue.  The center is open daily during regular fair hours.

Anyone needing assistance in an emergency should seek out the nearest Illinois State Police trooper, stop at Illinois State Police headquarters on Grandstand Avenue, or call 9-1-1.

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