Tickets ‘selling like crazy’ for Trace Adkins concert at Sandwich Fair

The 133rd annual Sandwich Fair began Wednesday and continues through Sunday, Sept. 12.

Tickets are “selling like crazy” for the Trace Adkins concert at this year’s Sandwich Fair, according to a fair official.

The popular country singer is set to take the stage at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at the fair, which runs from Wednesday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 11, at 15730 Pratt Road in Sandwich.

Larry Dannewitz, president of the fair’s board of directors since 2012, said tickets to the pit section for the Adkins concert have sold out and general admission tickets are going fast.

The Adkins concert is just one of the highlights of this year’s fair, which Dannewitz said once again will offer a unique blend of fair tradition and innovation.

“We try to keep some of the old while looking for new,” Dannewitz said. “That’s a fine line we walk every year. We always have been and always will be a very traditional-oriented fair.”

For general information on the fair, including times, pricing, events and promotions, see the Sandwich Fair Preview.

With the exception of 2020, when the fair was shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been held annually since 1888, making it one of the oldest in Illinois.

Since 2020, Dannewitz said they have added a lot of new vendors, but have also been able to keep many longtime vendors such as the St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, which has been a staple at the fair for 60 years.

Dannewitz said last year’s fair had perfect weather and about 170,000 people showed up throughout the weekend. He said he is expecting to duplicate and surpass that success this year.

“The more the merrier,” he said. “I think everybody is still a little bit anxious and wants to get out.”

Dannewitz said the fair has been seeing close to 200,000 people attend each year for the past couple of decades.

Dannewitz said the proximity to Chicago and its suburbs helps draw a sizable crowd. He said the fairgrounds always are in pristine shape, and with the trees’ colors in the fall, it gives-out-of-town guests something they don’t get in the city.

Dannewitz, who has been with the fair organization for the past 34 years, said technology has changed a lot of things at the fairgrounds. He said in recent years they have made several improvements to existing structures, adding amenities and are working to make the grounds as Americans with Disabilities Act accessible as possible.

Dannewitz said besides the rides and the Friday night concert, one of the biggest attractions is the wide variety of fair food.

“Nobody’s on a diet that week,” he said.

Dannewitz said one thing that sets the Sandwich Fair apart from other fairs are the exhibits.

“We really take pride in the number of the exhibitors we have,” he said.

In total, Dannewitz said there are usually about 25,000 entries competing in exhibits throughout the fair.

Another tradition Dannewitz said was Otto’s Train, a steam-powered train built and operated by a local family that runs all weekend and will be celebrating its 70th year at the Sandwich Fair.

“Otto’s train is the only ride I ride anymore,” Dannewitz said.

Dannewitz said one of the best racing events at the fair isn’t on the main track. For Wednesday night’s Remote Control Race, a track is built in front of the grandstand where competitors will race RC cars. Guests can watch for free from the stands.

Throughout the weekend, the Ag Land and Home Arts stages will feature a variety of local musicians, entertainers and competitions throughout each day included with admission. Strolling acts such as mariachis and jugglers will also be found wandering the fair grounds.

The fair is a nonprofit organization, sustained by the profits from prior years. It is run by a board of directors, whose 13 members advise and oversee 43 superintendents, who each command their own department of the fair.

Dannewitz said each year, the fair employs about 400 total employees and volunteers and is always provides a boost to the Sandwich area economy.

For general information on the Sandwich Fair, including times, pricing, events and promotions, visit the online Sandwich Fair Preview.