Also, there are almost 300 food vendors (including plenty of new offerings in both food and beverage departments), concerts galore both at the Grandstand and at free stages around the Fair, more than 3,300 included-with-admission events, and plenty of exciting merchants and people-watching moments to pack into your day.
Here are some highlights for today:
THURSDAY, Sept. 1
Daily deal: $12 admission for those above 65, with Midway and Kidway specials until 1 p.m.
Today’s theme is Seniors Day, round 2. This time, plenty of activities are lined up in Dan Patch Park, including: One Pass Fitness at 10 a.m.; musical performances almost every hour, and a fall prevention program at 1 p.m.
FOUR FOR FREE
CHEER: Another mystery panel of local celebs will compete to carve a one-pound block of butter in just 20 minutes. 12:20 p.m. @ Moo Booth Stage, near the Cattle Barn
LISTEN: Somali-born, Minnesota-based artist Delmar Yare’s music combines Afrobeat rhythms, traditional Somali styles, and western indie pop. 10:45 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1:15 p.m. @ International Bazaar Stage
GROW: Learn more about green space development and community gardening in the Eco Experience building. 12 p.m. @ Sustainability Stage
FREE SHOW OF THE DAY: Despite their name, the Irish bluegrass/celtic band We Banjo 3 is actually a quartet. You can see all four of them at 3:30 and 4:45 @ Leinie Lodge Bandshell Stage
REO Speedwagon and Styx with Levon: REO Speedwagon began life as a cover band made up of Illinois college students in the late ’60s. Things got serious in 1970 with the arrival of guitarist Gary Richrath, who would go on to write some of the band’s best-known songs, including “Ridin’ the Storm Out” and “Take It on the Run.” Lead singer Kevin Cronin joined soon after, and REO Speedwagon went on to rule the ’80s with such hits as “Keep on Loving You,” “Keep the Fire Burnin’” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” Styx got started in Chicago way back in 1961, when twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo started a band with their neighbor, Dennis DeYoung. They didn’t record together as Styx until 1972, with 1974’s single “Lady” giving the band their breakthrough hit. Styx returned to the Top 10 numerous times over the following decade, with songs like “Come Sail Away,” “Babe,” “The Best of Times” and “Too Much Time on My Hands.” Country rock trio Levon opens. $51-$41 (obstructed view seats available).
Attendance at the Fair on Tuesday was 112,922.
The attendance record for the Fair on Tuesday was 136,987, set in 2019. Attendance that day in 2021 was 89,618.