DU QUOIN -- The Du Quoin State Fair, along with Gov. J.B. Pritzker, announced Olympic gold medal winner and East St. Louis native Jackie Joyner-Kersee will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Du Quoin State Fair Parade tonight.
The retired American track and field athlete won three gold medals and is ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the heptathlon as well as long jump. On top of her athletic accomplishments, Joyner-Kersee is an active philanthropist giving back to her Illinois hometown though her work supporting children's education, racial equality and women's rights.
"A six-time Olympic medalist who has spent her life inspiring young women and fighting for a quality education for all children, racial equality and women's rights, Jackie Joyner-Kersee represents the best of Illinois," said Gov. J,B. Pritzker. "I couldn't be prouder to join a legendary East St. Louis native to kick off the Du Quoin State Fair."
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"We are thrilled to have Jackie Joyner-Kersee kick off the 2019 Du Quoin State Fair Parade," said Josh Gross, Du Quoin State Fair Manager. "Her mission to encourage young people in our state to pursue athletics and academics fits perfectly with our theme Building our Future."
Admission and parking on the fairgrounds are free on parade night. The parade will step off at 6 p.m. from the Grandstand. The 2019 Du Quoin State Fair will take place Aug. 23 through Sept. 2 in Du Quoin.