EXPO GARDENS -- The 63rd annual Heart of Illinois Fair is ready to kick off Friday.
The fair gates open at 4:00 PM with the ribbon cutting ceremony.
This year's new events include a barbecue cook-off on Friday, a 5-K run on Saturday, and a bags tournament on the final day.
The entertainment acts will be featured in the Opera House this year which is fully air conditioned.
Heart of Illinois Fair Director Charlie Kennell says attendance has stabilized the last couple years and he hopes for a good turnout this year.
"I would just tell everyone to come out and enjoy themselves, " said Kennell. "I mean the weather's good and we got the rides and we got the food. We'll have carnival good and we'll have nights they select in the entertainment tent to see."
This years entertainment acts include the Heart of Illinois Dub Movement on Friday and rock band Saving Abel on the final day.
The fair runs from tomorrow until the 21st.
For more information you can visit heartofillinoisfair.com.