After a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus, the DuPage County Fair made its return Friday at the DuPage Event Center and Fairgrounds in Wheaton. It’s a 180-year-old community tradition that honors the legacy of Illinois’ agricultural roots.
“It feels wonderful to be able to invite everyone back on the grounds. It’s been a lot of work getting to this point and it’s great to see the response we’ve got. Tons of folks came out today, lots of kids came out from our camp program and we had a ton of fun here at the Fairgrounds today,” said Jim McGuire, manager and CEO of the DuPage County Fair Association.
There are some changes to the fair this year. It’s usually a five-day event, but it’s been reduced to three days. Another change is a new beer garden area located in Building Number 2 providing live music performances. The Fuze Band headlined the entertainment on Friday. Performers to come will be Lake Effect, Cap-N-Funk and The Groove Train, The New Odyssey Guy, Two Beer Tommy Band and many more.
Another part of the entertainment is the carnival, found on the south end of the fairgrounds.
“We have a huge carnival by Fantasy Amusement. They put a beautiful midway together and great rides. We have some great Ag displays, our 4-H program with the kids. So a lot of 4-H animal displays here. We also have some cool agricultural displays, we have a sheep herding demonstration, and there’s great food here. 15 different food vendors on the grounds selling a variety of food,” said McGuire.
Agriculture and Farming
Along with the entertainment, a major part of the fair is how it promotes the significance of agriculture and farming.
“It’s very important. I was raised on a farm. I’ve got a lot of aunts and uncles that were raised on farms. This was a farmland. It’s important because we all had roots. At one time, this was all agriculture. Yes, we need it now for buildings, offices and stuff, but we still have to remember the importance of having a fair and how we relate every day. Your food, your clothing, it all comes from farmers. We got to thank the farmers,” said Ellen Sietmann, vice president of the DuPage County Fair Association.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors ages 62 and over and for children ages three through 12, and free for children ages two and under as well as for active military personnel with identification. The event will run through Sunday.
“We’re back!” said Ellen Sietmann.
For Naperville News 17, I’m Josiah Schueneman.