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Veterans and Gold Star Families Day at the 2022 Illinois State Fair

Press Release - Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Free admission for veterans and immediate family on Sunday, August 14

(Springfield) - The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA), the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and the Illinois State Fair invite veterans and their family members to enjoy a free day at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday, August 14, 2022. This annual event offers exciting events, programs, and music. It concludes with a parade led by Governor JB Pritzker and IDVA Director Terry Prince along with veterans' organizations, JROTC teams, and IDVA staff. This year's theme, "Veterans Build Illinois," features remarks from Brad Schaive, LIUNA Local 477.
Veterans and their families can show any form of military ID for free admission. Parking is not included.

All events take place at the Lincoln Stage.

The schedule of events is as follows:

9:30 a.m.                        Celebration of Life - Memorial and Gold Star Families Service
                                       Lincoln Stage, all are encouraged to attend.
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.   Benefits Exposition
                                       The Shed
10:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.   AmVets Kid's Corner
                                       Lincoln Stage Area
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. JROTC Drill Team Competition Part 1
                                       Central Avenue
12:00 p.m.                      Main Program - Keynote Speaker Brad Schaive
                                       Lincoln Stage
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.     JROTC Drill Team Competition Part 2
                                       Central Avenue
3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.     JROTC Drill Team Competition Awards Ceremony
                                       Lincoln Stage

4:00 p.m.                       Veterans and Gold Star Families Day Parade
                                      Grandstand Avenue

The Illinois National Guard will be in support of the day's events:

• The Illinois Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion will provide three Noncommissioned Officers to judge the JROTC Drill and Ceremony competition. Musical entertainment by the 144th Army Band.

The Macon County Honor Guard will be presenting colors.

During the Celebration of Life, one person from each Gold Star family will lay a yellow rose at the base of the Battlefield Cross.

The Benefits Exposition includes information about benefits, services and activities for veterans and their family members from the IDVA, state and federal agencies, veteran service organizations and non-profits.

The JROTC drill teams will be awarded first, second and third prize with a monetary gift and plaque provided by the service organizations.

Media are welcomed to attend, and advance publicity of the event is appreciated.

About the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs
The mission of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs is to empower veterans and their families to thrive. We do this by assisting them in navigating the system of federal state and local resources and benefits; by providing long-term health care for eligible veterans in our Veterans' Homes; and by partnering with other agencies and non-profits to help veterans address education, mental health, housing, employment, and other challenges. For more information, visit

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