County Fair 60th Anniversary

Carnival rides, fried food, and farm animals are a staple to the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton, but what you may not know, is that this longstanding event began much closer to home.

“It started out in a field over in Naperville and we moved into the North Central College Field House for the first couple years. We outgrew that rather quickly so we moved to this property,” said Chuck Ingram, President of the DuPage County Fair.

The Fairground relocated to the 55-acre county complex, which gave them more space to accommodate the County’s growing population and the expanding fair.

This year over 150 events span the five days including a few new ones like donkey races, Ax-Women, and monster truck drivers giving rides before their derby performances.

However the main exhibit for the 60th anniversary is Ag-venture Land, which is the span of two huge tents and has 30 activities of its own.

“A lot of farm games like what products are made out of the different grains that are raised, antique equipment where kids can do corn shelling and grinding and how ropes used to be made. That’s all available for the kids,” said Ingram.

The fair’s lease is up in 2020 and the County will soon decide what the best use of the property is, but families still flocked to opening day in record numbers.

Even in today’s technology driven world Ingram believes that agriculture can teach valuable lessons.

“Taking care of those animals every day teaches them respect for life, and that’s what kids need. They need to see that how you treat somebody else or something else is how they’re going to treat you back. It’s a life learning process and that’s what we hope to instill in children,” said Ingram.

While the future of the fair is unclear, officials would love to add another 60 years of tradition.

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