SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Fair along with Governor JB Pritzker, announced Illinois’ longest serving Secretary of State Jesse White will serve as the Grand Marshall for the Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade, Thursday, August 11 at 5:30 p.m.
White was first elected to the office in 1998, becoming Illinois’ 37th Secretary of State. Prior to his election as Secretary of State, White served as Cook County Recorder of Deeds – a job to which he was first elected in 1992 and reelected in 1996. Before that, he served 16 years in the Illinois General Assembly, representing the most culturally, economically, and racially diverse district in Illinois.
White served our country as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division and as a member of the Illinois National Guard and Reserve. He played professional baseball for seven seasons with the Chicago Cubs organization. In 1959, White founded the internationally known Jesse White Tumbling Team to serve as a positive alternative for at-risk children residing in public housing in and around the Chicago area. Since its inception, more than 18,500 young men and women have performed with the team. White has spent 61 years working as a volunteer with the team to help kids stay away from gangs, drugs, alcohol, and smoking, and to help set at-risk youth on the path to success.
“Jesse White has spent his entire life devoted to service,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “From his time in the US Army, to inspiring our youth with decades of public service, his example should be celebrated throughout the state of Illinois. I couldn’t be prouder to join this great Illinoisan in leading the Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade.”
“We are thrilled to have Jesse White kick off the 2022 Twilight Parade,” said Rebecca Clark, Illinois State Fair Manager. “His years of participation in this parade with the famous Jesse White Tumbling Team has wowed children and adults for years. His participation this year embodies our Grow With Us theme.”
Admission to the fairgrounds on Preview Day (Thursday) is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors (60 and older) and kids 12 and under are free. All carnival rides, including those in Adventure Village, will be open by 5:00pm and offered at a discounted price.
Harness racing begin at noon and will break for the parade. Horse racing continues in the Grandstand following the Twilight Parade.
The 2022 Illinois State Fair will take place August 11 – August 21 in Springfield, IL. Start planning your trip today by visiting www.IllinoisStateFair.info or by downloading our free mobile app, available for both Apple and Android devices.