Just ahead of fall, the 131st annual Sandwich Fair will return next week, bringing time-honored fun and entertainment to the area.
The fair will open on Wednesday, Sept. 5, and close on Sunday, Sept. 9, with hours of activities in between.
General manager Bradley Anderson said the fair will continue the emphasis on exhibitors that started last year. Exhibitors – especially the number of exhibitors – are “a huge part of what separates the Sandwich Fair from other fairs,” he said.
“We have higher numbers of people that show off their talents, bringing in flowers or collections and things like that. That’s one of the big things about the fair,” Anderson said.
Exhibitors at the Sandwich Fair range in category from flowers and plants to baked goods to livestock. Their importance will be reflected in this year’s booklet, which was redesigned and released earlier to help exhibitors plan in advance.
A separate promotional guide for entertainment can be found around town, featuring musical highlights like country singer Justin Moore, who is returning to perform at the fair on Friday, Sept. 7, as well as contemporary Christian band Carrollton, performing on Wednesday, Sept. 5.
“We’ve had different types of things, we’re just trying to get a different group of people in on Wednesday, so hopefully that will help,” Anderson said.
Anderson also added that the video screens used for headlining concerts in 2017 will return this year, to help everyone in the audience see the performers on stage.
A major change to the fair, Anderson said, will be in how visitors get to the fairgrounds.
In previous years, Google Maps directed fairgoers to the Fair Association office, located on Suydam Road. The influx of cars coming toward Suydam Road created traffic throughout Sandwich, leading Anderson to work with Google during the offseason, to create a new location in Google Maps for the fair. Now, visitors who type the Sandwich Fairgrounds into Google Maps will be directed to 15730 Pratt Road, which Anderson encourages all out-of-town visitors to use, instead of Suydam Road.
“It isn’t really a big deal on Wednesday and Thursday, but on Friday, and especially on Saturday, we have many people entering and leaving at the same time,” Anderson said. “That created huge congestion ... nobody could get in, nobody could leave. If we have an improvement there, that will just make the day better, and hopefully get people in and out better.”