Sandwich Fair opens with ceremony, horse shows, harness races and much more

The Sandwich Fair opened for its 134th year Wednesday morning Sept. 7 2022 at 15730 Pratt Road in Sandwich.

SANDWICH – As a heavy fog cleared early Wednesday morning, thousands of people arrived at the Sandwich Fair to view the opening ceremony, horse shows and harness races.

Not all of the fair’s attractions were open by 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, but there were plenty of things to do.

While many of the food vendors still were setting up, members of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church of Sandwich already had a line of hungry fair goers waiting for a hot breakfast.

St. Paul’s is celebrating their 60th year serving breakfast at the fair, offering eggs to order, pancakes, biscuits and gravy and more all day long.

Elisabeth Key, 20, can be found working hard at St. Paul’s every day of the fair, and has a long history of volunteering with the church. She said she has been volunteering at the fair since she was 11, but the history goes back much further than that.

Key, and her sister, Alyce Key, are third generation volunteers at St. Paul’s stand. Starting with their grandparents, William and Edwina Vincent, the tradition was passed to their parents and on to them.

Key said her grandmother started volunteering with St. Paul’s 50 years ago, and while she no longer is able to volunteer, she was there supporting the church and her family on the first day of this year’s fair.

Key said business was steady Wednesday morning but she was expecting a very busy afternoon and weekend.

Bonnie Talty came to the fair grounds early Wednesday morning to see the Sandwich High School marching band perform in the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony at the Sandwich Fair featured the Sandwich High School marching band performing as the Sandwich and Plano American Legions and Sandwich VFW carried out the flag ceremony at 9 a.m. on Wednesday Sept. 7 2022.

The band concluded its performance with the National Anthem, as the Plano and Sandwich American Legions and Sandwich VFW carried out the flag ceremony.

Talty has been coming to the fair for almost 20 years and said she has fond memories of the ceremony as her daughter played in the band for years.

After the ceremony, Talty also enjoyed the western horse show and said she will be back to the fair on Sunday to see her favorite event: the demolition derby.

Contestant competing in the western horse show's barrel racing event at the Sandwich Fair at 10 a.m. on Wednesday Sept. 7 2022.

“I don’t know what it is about the derby,” Talty said, “It’s just exciting.”

The first event of this year’s fair to take place on the track was harness racing. Free of charge, fair goers took to the bleacher coliseum to watch what resembles a modern version of ancient Roman chariot races.

Hector and Debbie Reyes have been coming to the fair for more than 30 years and were enjoying the harness races for the first time Wednesday morning.

Harness racer at the Sandwich Fair on a warm-up lap before the races started at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7 2022.

Hector Reyes said he has been coming to the fair since 1978, and his favorite part is participating in raffles and other events for charity.

Debbie Reyes grew up in Sandwich and said she comes to the fair every year just for the experience.

“I’ve been coming since I was little,” Debbie Reyes said. “I just like to walk around and look at everything.”

The couple said they plan to come back for Sunday’s festivities.

The fair runs through Sunday, Sept. 11 at the fairgrounds 1401 Suydam Road in Sandwich. Hours of the fair will be 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

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