Lake County Fair opens as planned despite flooding

GRAYSLAKE, Ill. (WLS) -- Despite the record flooding north of Chicago, the Lake County Fair is going on as planned. The five-day fair is serving as a welcome distraction for families still working to clean up their homes and businesses.

"This is my memory from a kid at Lake County Fair, so I wanted to share it with her. For them to have some memories. My parents always brought me, it's my turn now to bring my own kids here," Maria Tellez said.

It's one of the biggest fairs in the region. Now in its 89th year, the Lake County Fair likes to bill itself as summer's best fest with a little something for everyone to enjoy.

"We've been doing the countdown every day since about 120 days when we passed the sign. We've been so excited for the fair," Jessica Race said.

It's been a tough two weeks in Lake County. A state of emergency was declared after torrential rains left about 5,800 structures flooded. And while the fairgrounds weren't affected, organizers were concerned there might be some impact.

"Our property here is high and dry so we've had no problems at all, but the surrounding communities and roads were interrupted. But all's fine's right now," said John Maguire, Lake County Fair.

"Up by me there's a lot of people who were affected. I'm up by the Chain of Lakes. So this is a nice break from all that," Race said.

There are of course the mainstays of every fair: the carnival rides, the games, the funnel cakes. But at its core, it wouldn't be the Lake County Fair without the farm animals: a petting zoo for the little ones, pig races to animate the crowds and members of local 4H clubs showing off their animals for the chance to win a ribbon.

"This is the best part of 4H. It's what the whole year leads up to. Today is the big show, so i showed my pig and my lamb and we have two shows for each. Tired but it was really fun," Ashley Kay said.
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