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As the Decatur Celebration nears during the first weekend in August, tickets have gone on sale online and have doubled in price to $10 for the three-day downtown festival. Take the poll and join the conversation.

Four more stories you should see are flowers for Governor's Mansion reopening coming from Decatur, morning fire damages house, Millikin football getting some national recognition and attorney general candidate Harold talks about gun control laws.

TAKE OUR POLL: 5 things we learned about Celebration

Decatur Celebration admission will be $10 this year in advance, double the $5 cost last year. This is the second year admission has been charged for the formerly free festival amid what organizers are rising costs.

Here are five things we have learned about tickets, finances and entertainment for the 33rd Decatur Celebration, which is Aug. 3-5:

For Governor's Mansion reopening, fresh flowers from Decatur

Fresh flowers grown in Decatur, Bloomington, Mattoon and across Central Illinois will greet visitors to the Governor's Mansion on Saturday when it reopens after $15 million in renovations.

Donations from eight growers in different communities will appear on the dining room table, seating areas, outdoor areas and catering tables. Several area florists and growers are working together to craft the arrangements and centerpieces for the high-profile celebration, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with a ceremony at 10:30 a.m.

Early morning fire damages vacant house

The Decatur Fire Department responded to a house fire at 5:55 a.m. Thursday at 239 N. East Ave.

Battalion Chief Jim Ohl said the two-story residence was vacant and appeared to be under construction. Firefighters were on the scene until 9 a.m.

Millikin gets votes in Division III poll

The Millikin football team had its first winning season in eight years in coach Dan Gritti's second season, and will return several of the top players from that team.

The Division III football world is taking notice.

AG candidate Harold says she'd defend gun control laws from local challenges

The GOP candidate for state attorney general, Erika Harold, during a stop in Decatur Wednesday said she would defend restrictions on gun ownership enacted by state lawmakers, regardless of her personal views on the matter.

At least 26 of Illinois' 102 counties in recent months have passed "gun sanctuary" measures that deem further state gun control measures as a violation of the Second Amendment. Many have said the resolutions are symbolic and nonbinding, and are meant to send a message to lawmakers.

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