Recalling the DuQuoin State Fair

Thinking about the DuQuoin State Fair this morning. Generations of kids from DuQuoin literally grew up with this fair. We were it’s labor force. It was the biggest deal ever. I remember Sam the Candyman, Malone’s Taffy, First Heat dances, Car races, smoking hot days and nights, trotters, the Exhibition Hall, famous people walking through town, gaudy sideshows, killer concerts and the midway rides. It was AWESOME!

The fair was special and it made us feel special too. It was what made DuQuoin different than any other Southern Illinois town.

In late high school and early college, I worked there year round at the Front Gate. We were the worst security guards ever. The older I get, the more fondly I remember those days when we were all living in a John Mellencamp song and trying to figure it all out. It’s funny but all these people, dead or alive, are still 18 years old in my memories.

Perhaps I will spin “Riding the Storm Out” a little later today. I will turn it up loud and just smile…


Published by Rev. Shane L. Bishop

Senior Pastor of Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL since 1997. I am an orthodox Christian but I am not in a bad mood about it.

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