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Twilight Ballroom Demolished At State Fairgrounds

Updated: Monday, June 2 2014, 05:30 PM CDT
SPRINGFIELD -- A staple at the state fairgrounds is getting a facelift. Crews demolished the Twilight Ballroom this week to make way for a new and improved facility. The state fair manager says it's a project that is long overdue.

The ballroom is popular among thousands for its showcase of Illinois wine.

Despite no ballroom this year, Illinois wineries say the show must go on.

"It was not energy efficient, or efficient in general," said State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick.

"Last year we were very fortunate. The fire marshal let us stay in, but they said we had to have all the doors and everything open. So we knew it was coming," said Teresa Mavis from the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association.

The ballroom was home to Illinois wine tasting. Mavis says she is sad to see the building now sit as twisted metal and mangled wood.

"The old building had a lot of personality, I would call it, but the new building will be a lot more safe and secure," said Mavis.

But construction on that new building won't start until after this year's fair. For now, an air conditioned tent will be installed, which will bring some changes to the usual fair celebration.

"There will not be ballroom dancing this year. We are going to take a one-year hiatus from that and we will bring it back the following year when we get the new building," said Bliefnick.

Building or not, Illinois wine makers are still ready to showcase their wine. At least a dozen wineries are already signed up for this year's fair.

"It doesn't matter it's not a building. We are going to have the same, the exact same thing happening in a tent as we had in the building," said Mavis.

The state fair manager says construction of the new building is being paid for using fair-generated revenue. They hope to have the new ballroom open by the fair in 2015.Twilight Ballroom Demolished At State Fairgrounds

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