The 1938 Illinois State Fair was held from August 13




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The 1938 Illinois State Fair was held from August 13th to the 21st. The State Fair manager was Mr. E. E. Irwin. This was his fourth year as manager and he continued in this roll for two more years. In 1937, it was reported that the Illinois State Fair reached over 1 million in attendance.
Source: Illinois State Register Sunday August 14, 1938:

Gaiety and Entertainment Available for Visitors at State Fair Each Evening. Night life at the 1938 state fair, ranging from the Hawaiian Extravaganza and fireworks in front of the grandstand to the humblest concession in Happy Hollow, provides gaiety and entertainment for the thousands who attend the exposition. Monday night, however, will mark the opening of the nightly shows to be presented by the troupe of 70 Hawaiians who have come here direct from the islands for their first performances on the mainland. Starting at 7:30 p.m. each nigh, the Hawaiians will put on a complete program of singing, dancing and other acts. The troupe is billed as the world’s largest group of Hawaiian entertainers, and many of them never before have left the Hawaiian islands.


Source: Illinois State Journal August 14, 1938:

A large ad welcoming visitors to the Illinois State Fair, also lists: Hawaiian Extravaganza (70 native Hawaiians direct from the Islands), evenings, August 15the to the 21st.

Source: Illinois State Journal, Tuesday August 16, 1938:



“What attracts more attention than the Hawaiian shirt spattered with all kinds of bright colors and designs worn by Gene Irwin, general manager of the fair, on his trips through the fairgrounds.”
Source: Illinois State Register Sunday August 14, 1938:

$167,000 in prizes offered to exhibitors at State Fair; expect record attendance. While this year’s fair is primarily educational with each of the state departments conducting elaborate exhibits, the entertainment features, headlined by the Hawaiian Extravaganza, grand circuit and automobile races are expected to draw large crowds.


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