BELLEVILLE, IL (KPLR) – Last year, the St. Clair County Fair had received $69,000 from the state of Illinois to put on their annual St. Clair County Fair.
But this year, in what would have been their 161st year, organizers had received word their funding would be cut. That meant a tradition is coming to a close.
Kay Weber has been working at the St. Clair County Fair for the past ten years.
'We would have all the barns filled with animals,' says Kay Weber, St. Clair County Fair Association President. 'We`d have the chicken coop filled with roosters and chickens and that was one of my favorite things because they`re so unique and different.'
But this year will be different. The St. Clair County Fair Association made the decision last month that the annual fair would be canceled.
'We`ve taken four or five years to make that decision and we`re sorry it had to happen but we had no choice,' says Weber.
A St. Clair County tradition for 160 years, the five day festival was reduced to four days just three years ago.
Dwindling attendance and budget cuts statewide have seen this fair lose favor with modern day audiences.
'Whose fault might this be,' says Weber. 'The state. Yeah, the state is the one who had decreased the funds and are going to continue.'
While the arts and crafts displays, livestock judging and exhibits are going away, the Belle Clair Fairgrounds will continue to hold events and memories for many who came to this county fair.
It might still feel a little like a county fair.
A carnival is scheduled here August 12 through the 16th and a county fair tradition; the demolition derby will still run on Friday night August 14th.