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Friend of the Fair Award


Ruth Blasingame was recognized as a "Friend of the fair" at the 2024 Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs (IAAF).


We at Boone County Fair send her our congratulations and thank her for her dedicated service!

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Gallano Family wins the Illinois Friends of the County Fairs award at the 2023 Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs (IAAF) Convention in Springfield!

Congratulations and a BIG THANK YOU from everyone at the Boone County Fair!

Lyle Lee wins the Illinois Friends of the County Fairs award at the 2022 IAAF Convention in Springfield!

Lyle has served as a Boone County Fair Board member for 29 years-18 years as a Director, and 11 years and counting as our Fair Board President.


Lyle began his work with the Fair Board as the Sponsorship Chairman. This is a position that he has held throughout his time on the board, and one that suits his personality perfectly. There is no one more enthusiastic about our Fair. His enthusiasm is contagious, and he inspires others to become involved. If they are not able to help out in person, they generously offer their sponsorship. Lyle is responsible for securing countless volunteers, as well as over $750,000 over the years. For the last 11 years, Lyle has been the Boone County Fair Board President.


During this time our attendance numbers have grown consistently, with 2019 being our best year ever. Needless to say, 2020 was a challenge but Lyle kept everyone positive. Throughout the difficulties of COVID-19 he kept the focus on moving forward toward 2021. The Board respects his leadership and his ability to work with the varying personalities involved in hosting the fair. If Lyle’s roles as President and Sponsorship Chairman don’t keep him busy enough, he is always on the grounds, checking to see what needs to be done.


Whether he is checking in at the office or jumping on a mower to help with  the grounds, he will do what it takes to keep things running smoothly. Our fair is owned and operated by the Granges of Boone County. Lyle has held numerous positions both locally and at the state level within the Grange organization. He is also a veteran and served his country with honor and looks for no recognition. For all his years of service to our fair Lyle Lee has earned the respect and shown the dedication and leadership necessary to be considered as a Friend of the Fair! He is truly deserving of this Honor. Congratulations Lyle Lee!

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Congratulations to our very own
He received the 110th Annual Convention Friend of the Fair Award from the
Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs in 2020

Steve was nominated for his service to the Boone County Fairboard for 29 years. This service comes naturally, as he literally grew up on the fairgrounds. His father served as the vice-president and president for a total of 34 years, and his mother was the fair secretary for 47 years. Two brothers, his sister, and a brother-in-law, wife and daughter have served or are currently serving as board members for a combined total of 165 years of service to the Boone County Fair.

Steve is heavily involved in overseeing the operations of the grounds, and is a welcome presence on the hiring committee for the grounds crew. He is well respected and his opinion is looked to and considered before decisions are made.
As a Livestock Superintendent Steve has demonstrated effective administrative and interpersonal leadership. He brings a broad range of experience and skills in addition to tireless work ethics to the Boone County Fair.

When asked what his favorite memory of the fair is, he says “when I won Grand Champion Barrow I think I was about 15.“ That says it all folks!


When you run into Steve this year at the Fair, congratulate him on a job well done good and faithful servant!


Congratulations to our very own

He received the Friend of the Fair Award from the
Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs
in 2019

This prestigious award is given to a select few individuals each year that exemplify the love of county fairs.  Butch has been a Boone County member for 18 years.  Presently as a member of County Line Grange.  He has been on the fair board for 11 years, and as a livestock superintendent he is responsible for the overall care and handling of all animals entered at the Boone County Fair. 


He cites, as his most notable contribution to the fair, the building of a new wash rack for the swine bran; and arranging for the transportation of hogs and dairy milk from the grounds at the end of the fair.  But, it is what he said about his best memory of the fair that sets him apart.  It's his willingness to work and help the many good people that exhibit at our fair that serves him well with the job he does.

Butch keeps the swine barn as the cleanest animal barn at the fair.  So clean, in fact, that he and a local TV newscaster actually ate a donuts off the show ring floor.  Butch, and his wife Becky, and family and friends are justifiably proud of what they have accomplished at the fair and we on the board are proud to have Butch as a true and hardworking, Friend of the Boone County Fair.

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