Illinois State Fair vendors having hard time after flooding

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Vendors at the Illinois State Fair say they’re struggling after thunderstorms, flash flooding and power outages have struck this year’s event.

Justin Hargrove of Oklahoma runs the Smoke Stack BBQ stand and has been at the fair for five years. He estimates that compared to this time last year his revenue is down 50 to 60 percent. He told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register Wednesday that doing the numbers “gives me heartburn.” The fair opened Aug. 11 and ends Sunday.

Weather problems started Friday when it rained more than 5 ½ inches and swamped the fairgrounds. Then it rained all day Monday and Tuesday the power went out in the southern areas of the fairgrounds. Fair officials have had to restrict parking in areas because of muddy conditions.