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Springfield, IL: State fair to have sensory-friendly accommodations

July 14, 2023, Springfield (IL) Pantagraph: Illinois State Fair launches sensory-friendly initiative

The Illinois State Fair has announced two new initiatives to help increase accessibility and inclusivity for those who suffer from sensory processing disorders.

On Saturday, Aug. 12, the fair will host Sunflower Hours from 9 a.m. to noon. A variety of free entertainment options will be available during this time and included with fair admission.

Several stages will offer family-friendly programming, which will be the same entertainment offered on the other days of the fair, but without the use of large sound systems and loud music.

A silent dance party will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Reisch Pavilion, hosted by Neuhoff Media's 99.7 The Mix. The party will be able to accommodate 50 people at a time. Wireless headphones will be sanitized between uses and new playlists will start every 20 minutes.

Many of the rides in the Carnival Midway and Adventure Village will be operating without the bright lights and loud sounds that morning. Fair staff will distribute stickers to the individuals who identify as having sensory processing challenges so staff know they may need extra assistance.


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