Agricultural county fairs have a long tradition in Illinois and in a cooperative effort, University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs will be teaming up to survey fair-goers in 15 counties to assess their economic impact.
The report will address the money spent by fair attendees, as well as non-economic impacts of annual fairs. The selected counties include Mercer which will take place at the Mercer County Fair July 6-12. Other counties include Adams, Champaign, Clark, DeKalb, Fayette, Greene, Hamilton, Lake, Mason, Massac, Marshall, Monroe, Richland and Whiteside.
Trained 4-H youth surveyors will ask a percentage of fair-goers to complete a survey which will collect information about the fair attendee’s spending habits at the fair, their reason for attending and other information which will help assess the value of local agricultural fairs. Youth will also assist in presenting the results to the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs during its 2015 annual conference.
In addition to the blind surveys, key members of the county fair experience, including fair board members, livestock superintendents, carnival operators, exhibitors and vendors, will be interviewed.