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August 2, 2007

Celebrate the great outdoors at Conservation World during the 2007 Illinois State Fair
Scheer’s Lumberjacks, Cool Dog Thrill Show, fishing and hunting clinics among the activities featured

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Traditional favorites including the Scheer’s Lumberjack Show and the Cool Dog High Performance Trick Dog Thrill Show anchor a full schedule of family-oriented entertainment and activities at Conservation World during the Illinois State Fair, Aug. 10-19, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood announced today.

“Conservation World is the perfect fit for this year’s state fair theme of ‘Celebrate and Educate’ with a wide array of fishing and hunting clinics and activities, outdoor recreation information, and exciting shows like the Scheer’s Lumberjacks and the Cool Dog performances,” Flood said. “Visitors to Conservation World will enjoy a look at some of the fun, beauty and excitement of the great outdoors in Illinois.”

Conservation World, the 30-acre park located on the northwest corner of the Illinois State Fairgrounds (just inside Gate 7), is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. each day of the fair. It is easily accessible through pedestrian gates just north of the Junior Livestock Center and near the IDNR Headquarters building, and via a state fair tram stop.

“Adults and youngsters alike will enjoy visiting Conservation World, which many have told us over the years is one of their favorite destinations on the fairgrounds,” Flood added.  “With shade trees, ponds, park benches, and accessible pathways, it’s a great place to learn about our state’s natural wonders – or just sit and relax.”

Among the entertainment highlights at Conservation World:

• The famed Scheer’s Lumberjacks perform three shows daily at noon, 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Shows include competitions in log-rolling, chainsaw and cross-cut sawing, pole climbing and ax throwing.  Fred Scheer’s lumberjack shows have been entertaining crowds throughout North America for more than 20 years.

• The Cool Dog High Performance Trick Dog Thrill Show will be featured daily at 12:45 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.  The Las Vegas-based dog show has been thrilling audiences for 25 years.

• The Bass Tub show will appeal to veteran and novice anglers and fish enthusiasts, with tips on catching popular sport fish in Illinois.  The programs are at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. daily.

Once again this year at Conservation World, center stage is the Illinois Green Industry Association (formerly the Illinois Nurserymen’s Association) Amphitheater.  The outdoor stage, terraced seating, walkway and gazebo were designed, constructed and donated by the association.  Throughout the state fair, Illinois Certified Nursery Professionals will be on hand in the IGIA Amphitheater area to answer questions about home lawns and gardens, house and garden plants, garden design and other horticultural issues.

The amphitheater will also be the venue for this year’s Conservation World Storyteller Series, featuring some of the region’s best-known storytellers at 1:15 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day:

• Dan Keding of Urbana – Aug. 10, 11, 12 and Aug. 16, 17, 18
• Larry Lockwood of Aurora – Aug. 10, 11, 12
• Mike Anderson of Jacksonville – Aug. 13, 14, 15
• Kevin Strauss of Ely, Minnesota – Aug. 13, 14, 15
• Kim Sheahan of Farmer City – Aug. 16, 17, 18

Conservation World visitors can also enjoy a number of other popular activities:

• Illinois artisans demonstrating unique talents, including teaching youngsters and adults how to make wicker baskets – and chainsaw artists Wendy and Mike Rhodes conducting demonstrations on their unique wood work.

• World champion whip cracker Chris Camp – also known as “The Whip Guy” – demonstrating whip cracks of 750- to 900 miles per hour.

• Popular daily fishing clinics for youngsters - which include actual catch and release fishing - are at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the fishing pond near the Conservation World main gate.

• Smokey Bear will visit with youngsters each day at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Forest Resources Tent.

• Voyager Canoe rides will be provided in the 20-passenger canoe on the main lake at Conservation World each day of the fair from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

• Local and state sporting organizations host a free 3-D Archery Range and a BB
Gun Range open from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. each day of the fair, providing youngsters an opportunity to test their shooting sports skills.  The new Hunter Safety Education program shooting range trailer was provided through the support of the Central Illinois Friends of the Outdoors.

• Field dog demonstrations will be conducted near the Conservation World lake on Aug. 10-12 and Aug. 17-19 at 4 p.m.

The Conservation World Director’s Tent will include displays highlighting the state’s natural resources, Outdoor Illinois magazine, and the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, FOID application/photo information, permit and license information.

Displays and hands-on activities focusing on outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources stewardship in Illinois are located throughout Conservation World.  Illinois Conservation Police officers and IDNR wildlife, fisheries and habitat restoration biologists will be on hand to answer questions about rules, regulations, conservation, hunting and fishing issues.

Displays and information on state parks, education programs for youngsters and free materials for school teachers, mining and oil production, forestry management and tree farming, and protection of threatened and endangered species are also featured.

The Illinois Department of Human Services will provide an air-conditioned mobile nursery for nursing babies or changing diapers.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency hosts children’s games focusing on clean air, water and other environmental efforts.

Conservation World is one of the featured venues for special events and activities on Sat., Aug. 18 as part of Park District Conservation Day at the state fair. 

Sportsmen and women from a variety of outdoor recreation groups and volunteers from a number of Illinois environmental organizations also welcome state fair visitors at Conservation World.

The popular Illinois Department of Natural Resources gift shop, which operates year round at the adjacent IDNR headquarters building, will have a wide variety of clothing, books and other merchandise on display and available for purchase at the Conservation World log cabin.

Food vendors in Conservation World include southern Illinois’ famed 17th Street Barbeque.  Their menu features world champion barbeque, ribs, chicken, fish and sandwiches.  Other vendors will have old-fashioned root beer, kettle corn, pork rinds, honey, jams and jellies, and shaved ice.

Illinois State Fair admission includes free admission to Conservation World – open daily from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. throughout the fair.


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