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[AUG. 13, 2005]  SPRINGFIELD -- This year's Twilight Parade kicked off the Illinois State Fair with excitement and flair. Gov. Rod Blagojevich led the parade while energetically running down the parade line shaking hands with the crowd. NBA rookie Andre Iguodala was the grand marshal this year. He waved to the crowd and even took time to autograph a few basketballs.

The parade Thursday evening started on Ninth and North Grand, with 141 entries to entertain everyone. Marching bands, floats, clowns, mascots and impressive cars were a sight to see. As in years past, the Jesse White tumblers pleased the crowd with their amazing jumps and tricks. The Budweiser Clydesdales were a great new addition to the parade.

The Twilight Parade took place on Preview Day, when admission is free and discounted prices were offered on many rides. The 153rd Illinois State Fair officially began Friday morning, with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting by the governor.

The results of the parade contests follow:

Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade winners:

Marching bands

  1. Lincoln Way Central Marching Knights
  2. O'Fallon Township High School Marching Band
  3. Normal West High School Marching Band
  4. Rochester Marching Rockets
  5. Pana High School Marching Panthers
  • Superintendent Award -- Craftsmanship: Extreme Team/Cheer Zone
  • Judges Special Award -- Humor: L & M Gymnastics
  • Lincoln Award -- Illinois Romance: Marine Family Support Unit
  • Governors Sweepstakes: L & M Gymnastics

Noncommercial floats

  • Grand Marshal Award: Marine Family Support Unit
  • Director's Award: Collation of Rainbow Alliance
  • State Fair Award: Springfield Department of Public Health

Commercial floats

  • Grand Marshal Award: L & M Gymnastics
  • Director's Award: Extreme Team/Cheer Zone
  • State Fair Award: Villa Healthcare Center

[to top of second column in this article]

Walking units

  • Grand Marshal Award: Lincolnland Down Syndrome Support Group
  • Director's Award: Springfield Showstoppers
  • State Fair Award: Cheer America

Specialty units

  • Grand Marshal Award: Ansar Shriners
  • Director's Award: Lincoln Laffers Clown Alley
  • State Fair Award: Gingerbread House Daycare

Highlights of the County Fair and Horseracing Day schedule on Friday:

  • Amateur and professional art exhibits in the Artisans Building
  • Society Horse Show
  • Junior Pygmy Goat Show
  • Open Pygmy Goat Show
  • 4-H action exhibits and judging
  • 4-H Fashion Revue and Clover Celebration
  • Red Poll Show
  • Maine Anjou Show
  • Charolais Show
  • Poultry Show
  • Waterfowl Show
  • Junior Breeding Sheep Show
  • Superior Young Sheep Producer Show
  • Junior Barrow Show
  • Daily parade -- Main Street to Illinois Avenue to Grandstand Avenue to Eighth Street to Happy Hollow
  • Grandstand concert with Rascal Flatts and Blake Shelton
  • Fireworks

[Illinois State Fair news release]

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