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Fair 'Sandwiched' in success

A crowd gathers for Wednesday's opening ceremony at the 2022 Sandwich Fair.

SANDWICH, Illinois – One of the longest running fairs in the state keeps going strong and drawing in the crowds.

Anywhere from 175,000 to 200,000 people were expected to attend the Sandwich Fair, putting it right up there with the Illinois State Fair and DuQuoin Fair.

“We try to keep this an agriculture fair,” explained fair board member Harold Dannewitz. “We usually have more entries than the State Fair.”

Dannewitz oversees the electricity on the grounds and has been involved with the fair since 1994.

The Sandwich Fair has been happening since 1888 and continues to promote 4-H. In fact, many of the fair buildings date back to the 1800’s on the grounds in southern DeKalb County.

“Everything that comes through the gate we put right back into the fairgrounds,” said Dannewitz.

While many fairs have been down in numbers this year, Sandwich is holding steady compared to the past and that makes Ken Tyrrell happy. He is the general livestock superintendent and fair vice president.

“I was a little concerned going in but it has turned out very well.”

Tyrrell feels the great thing about county fairs such as this is the opportunity for kids to get up close to livestock. Animals are on the grounds every day of the fair for visitors to enjoy. Tyrrell considers it the greatest fair in the state with 240 acres of shaded grounds and the “best” carnival in the world.

“It just doesn’t get any better than the Sandwich Fair,” Tyrrell said.

The 2022 Sandwich Fair started Wednesday morning with an opening ceremony on the grounds. This year’s highlights include country singer Trace Adkins in concert, the NTPA Sanctioned tractor pulls, livestock judging and culinary competition.

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