You won't see bird shows in person at the Illinois State Fair because of the huge numbers of avian flu reports in poultry.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has canceled both the junior and open live poultry shows at the Illinois State Fair because the highly contagious avian flu won't go away.

Kids can still get recognition for their entries though. There will be a virtual poster competition in place of the live show. Details, rules, and entry requirements for that can be found at this link. The entry deadline is July 15.

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Dr. Mark Ernst, IDOA State Veterinarian, told WHBF:

The Department works year-round to promote biosecurity for all livestock producers. With the current situation, it remains important for all of us to be responsible and protect against the spread of avian influenza during the Illinois State Fair and county fairs.

The Illinois State Fair will be August 11-21. Their grandstand lineup features Demi Lovato, Shaggy & TLC, Willie Nelson, Brooks & Dunn, Trevor Noah, Sammy Hagar & The Circle, and more. Besides carnival rides, the fair will host races, motocross, truck and tractor pulls, demolition derbies, and more.

There will still be competitions at the fair this year, specifically a karaoke and a Lego contest, if those are more your speed. And of course, there will still be fair food. Wonderful fried fair food.

As for the bird flu outbreak, you are asked to report any unusual behavior you notice in domestic poultry to the Illinois Department of Agriculture at 217-782-4944.

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