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SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois State Fair kicked off Thursday with the Twilight Parade. An array of floats, bands and specialty units were featured encompassing this year's theme, Generations of Fun. Like the corndogs, lemon shakeups and Butter Cow featured on the historic fairgrounds, the Twilight Parade is an Illinois State Fair tradition that has been enjoyed by generations of fairgoers. Fairgoers come as kids, then as adults bring their kids, and then their grandchildren. It is a family affair that could be seen throughout the crowds that gathered to watch this year's parade.

The theme was further reflected in this year's grand marshal selection. The Vose Family, Cullers Family and Coleman Family served as the Grand Marshals of the 2017 Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade. Combined, the families have been fixtures at the Illinois State Fair for 176 years. The Director of Agriculture, Raymond Poe, also showcased the theme by including his children and grandchildren in the parade.

Here are the results of the 2017 Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade:

Governor's Sweepstakes Award: Walmart
Non-Commercial Floats
Grand Marshal Award: Dads Can Too
Director's Award: House of Bouncers
Illinois State Fair Award: Sangamon Count Farm Bureau
Commercial Floats
Grand Marshal Award: Bank of Springfield
Director's Award: Liberty Tax Service
Illinois State Fair Award: Athens State Bank
Specialty Unit
Grand Marshal Award: Boo Crew
Director's Award: Central Illinois Athletics
Illinois State Fair Award: Express Clydesdales
Marching Band
1stPlace: Normal Community Marching Ironmen
2ndPlace: Normal West High School
3rdPlace: Pana High School

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Gov. Rauner opens Illinois State Fair

                     Ribbon cutting starts showcase of agricultural achievements by
                     generations of Illinois families

Gov. Bruce Rauner opened the 2017 Illinois State Fair Thursday with the official ribbon cutting ceremony at the state fairgrounds in Springfield. The State Fair’s directors, managers, grand marshals, FFA and 4-H representatives, the lieutenant governor and elected officials joined the governor as he cut the ribbon, symbolizing the beginning of the State Fair.

“It is my honor to be here to help celebrate generations of families who have made Illinois the great state that it is,” the governor said. “Over the next 11 days, you will see these families and their hard work, be it for food they grew, the livestock they raised or the service and entertainment they bring to this state.”

Some of the fair events include livestock competitions, harness racing, the Illinois Bicentennial Beer Competition, rides and concerts.

The State Fair runs through Aug. 20.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Congressman Kinzinger talks economic growth in Ford, Iroquois and Livingston Counties

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger encourages local leaders to work together to better efforts to keep jobs in Illinois.

Some areas are better than others and some have a stronger base to work with...but it’s that community effort that we can all benefit from. Kinzinger said there’s a common ground that can lead the way.

The Republican congressman held roundtable discussions Wednesday, visiting Gibson City, Watseka, Forrest and Pontiac. Kinzinger said while some tense matters of concern have stirred talk in Washington, D.C. of late, there’s still issues to focus on in the district.

Kinzinger pointed to growth in tourism in Pontiac, “which is a good thing. We always could be doing better. So the key is to try to figure out, there’s an issue in skills gap, in terms of jobs that are available versus what people are trained for.”

He said a visit to Rhino Ag in Gibson City told him there’s a need for welders. Training, promoting and waving your own flag is important. Some communities want a better business climate, he said. One of the roles of the Federal government is to see trends of the future and to highlight those trends.”

Kinzinger said part of the blame for stagnant job growth rests in Springfield, saying that jobs are leaving Illinois because of state policies. But those same lame-policies need a boost at the local level too.

“Look, everybody is struggling and it’s something we need to get a better handle on,” Kinzinger said. “You know, we’re not just losing jobs to India – we’re losing them to Indiana, and it’s not because the weather is nicer or there are more mountains over there.”

Kinzinger also tells WGFA News ‘there’s a lot of eyes following the threat of Korean missiles.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee girl found safe

An 11-year-old Kankakee girl, reported missing, has been found safe.  Rose Mosley went missing from a relative's home Tuesday night.  Kankakee Polcie report the girl called another famlily member today (Thursday).  No word where the girl was found.  But she is OK.

94.1 WGFA


  • Parent Category: News

Dive team searching Vermilion County pond for apparent drowning victim

The Vermilion County sheriff’s department’s Underwater Search and Rescue Team continued its search today for the body of a man who apparently drowned in a private pond near Hillery, west of Danville.

Sheriff Captain Mike Hartshorn said five divers resumed their search in the pond around 7 a.m., after stopping last night around 8:15 p.m. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources conservation police officers are also part of the search.

Sheriff Pat Hartshorn said the man, a woman and a small child were in a small boat about 20 feet away from the shore when the motor failed. He said the man stood up to work on the engine, and the boat capsized. The child was wearing a floatation device. The woman, identified as the missing man’s fiance, was able to get the child back to shore. When she turned back to the water, she couldn’t see the man.

94.1 WGFA