|Text on Button||SOUVENIR OF STATE FAIR SPRINGFIELD ILLINOIS|
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The Illinois State Fair was first held in Springfield in 1853 to promote state agriculture, industry, education, and arts and sciences. The Fair attracted 20,000 people, and was praised for its family-centered activities. The next year, the Fair hosted a debate between Senator Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln on the topic of slavery. In subsequent years, the Fair would move around to 12 different Illinois cities before returning back to its permanent Springfield home in 1894.
The Fair currently runs 11 days across its 366 acres, and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It features entertainment such as harness racing and concerts, attractions such as the Butter Cow sculpture and a robotic dinosaur exhibition, and competitions such as a LEGO building contest.