Wednesday, February 29, 2012
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Illinois Products Expo to feature local foods and wines

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[February 29, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- Fifty-four Illinois food companies will give away samples of their products this weekend at the 14th annual Illinois Products Expo. The aptly titled "Food and Cooking Extravaganza," which also features Illinois-made wines and agriculture-based products like soy candles, will be on Saturday and Sunday in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. In all, 77 companies are scheduled to participate.

Hardware"The Illinois Products Expo allows food companies to market their products directly to consumers," said Bob Flider, acting director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. "Events like this are important because Illinois is one of the largest food processing states in the country. They not only help create demand for our crops, but also support jobs in an economically important industry."

Many of the expo's food offerings can be purchased to take home and will include fresh meat products, gourmet seasonings and sauces, homemade jams and jellies, and specialty dressings. Beverages also will be available. Expo visitors will have wines from 19 vintners and beer from two breweries to choose from, as well as coffee and soda. However, while the food samples are free, there is a charge for the drinks.

"The floor plan has been reconfigured to make better use of the available space," expo organizer Larry Aldag said. "The change will shorten lines and improve everyone's enjoyment of the show."

Expo hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5. Children 10 and younger will be admitted free of charge.

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There will be drawings for door prizes, including Illinois products gift baskets and a Weber Genesis E-310 LP gas grill (retail value $849).

Logan County businesses that will be participating in this year's event are C & C Fudge of Lincoln, Central Illinois Event Catering of Elkhart and Sasse's Apiary of Chestnut.

For a list of the participating food companies, wineries and agribusinesses, click here.

[Text from Illinois Department of Agriculture file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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