Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was among those who kicked off the Du Quoin State Fair Friday.
The Du Quoin mayor expects between 120,000 160,000 people to show up throughout the week. The state hosts this event and is in charge of keeping up the fairgrounds for you and your families.
They're behind because of the budget problem.
I spoke to Rauner. He believes he's found a solution without the legislature.
"Private citizens came forward here, farm families. My wife and I are going to donate too. They said we're not going to wait for the general assembly and the machine in Chicago do this," Rauner said.
"They said were going to do it ourselves. We're going to fix up the Du Quoin fairground," Rauner said, talking about the fairgrounds foundation. The foundation takes private money to fix up Du Quoin and the other fairground in Springfield.
Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi says the city had to help help out because the state couldn't pay its bills.
"We've bought some fuel for them. We put some lights in for some events. We come out here and sprayed for mosquitoes for them. We've given them some road patch and things like that," Alongi said.
For both fairgrounds, the total maintenance bill is about $180 million.
"It's going to be a long process, but we can make this nice," Alongi said. "This fairground is one of the nice assets of Illinois. It belongs to all of the people of state, and we can make it a proud place again."
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