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Daily Journal
     May 18, 2021      #52-138 KDJ

Throwback: Great inter-state fair opens today with

Retroceso: Gran feria interestatal se inaugura hoy con

Editor’s note: The year was 1918. America was embroiled in World War I, women were pushing for the right to vote, and a flu pandemic would soon devastate the country. Our Throwback Thursday takes a look back at our most popular stories from this month in history, from the quirky to the heartbreaking.

This story comes to us from Aug. 19, 1918, under the headline “Great Inter-State Fair Opens Today With a Big Crowd.” Kankakee already was known for its fairs by 1918; the first fair event in the then newly minted county was held in 1856. The 1918 Kankakee fair topped 30,000 participants, with 2,000 automobiles lining the parking lot.

Starting off in a blaze of glory, the Kankakee Inter-State Fair, the greatest exhibition of its kind in the United States, opened its gates to a big crowd today.

With the temperature somewhat lower than it has been for several days and a few gray clouds concealing the sun long enough in the morning to make things pleasant, the weather was ideal for the opening day.

Thousands of people flocked to the grounds early in the morning, intent on getting a good start for what promises to be the most important week in the history of the Kankakee Inter-State Fair association.

With a tremendous influx of exhibits Sunday and Monday morning, all records for displays have been broken. The capacity of the display buildings not only was taxed but exceeded. The management of the fair had set its goal high in obtaining these exhibits, but little was it dreamed that there would be so much.

Special train

The Springfield special, carrying a whole trainload of exhibits from the Illinois Centennial Exposition, did not arrive until late Sunday afternoon. No time was lost, however, in getting the displays unloaded at the fair grounds. With practically every stall and exhibition booth crowded before this time, the arrival of the Springfield special made the congestion go beyond all bounds. In fact it was found necessary to tie some of the show horses outside the barns and to build temporary sheep pens in the open air. It appeared as though every premium winning thing in the entire central west had come to Kankakee to try for honors.

In spite of all this congestion, everything was in ship shape this morning when the gates were opened and the big crowds began pouring in. The ground is being perfectly policed to guard against any accidents or rowdyism. Perfect protection for the women and children is the endeavor of the fair management.

The program was started during the morning with the livestock show. The entertainment in front of the grandstand began promptly on the specified hour.

Tuesday’s program

Special attention is being called to the program for Tuesday, which will be Kankakee day and the time for the dedication and presentation of the Kankakee County Service Flag. Adjutant Gen. Frank S. Dickson, of Springfield, Ill., will be here and will start speaking shortly after 1 o’clock. This is done in order that he can make automobile connections with Peoria, where he will appear at a night meeting. The three companies of Home Guards will act as an honorary escort to the adjutant and will be reviewed by him. The flag will be presented to a member of the Board of Supervisors in front of the grandstand.

Wednesday will be Republican day and political leader of Republican party will be present. Thursday will be Livestock day with an extraordinary racing program. Friday will be Democratic day and Saturday will be set aside for automobile racing.

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