The DeKalb County Fair, known to locals as the Sandwich Fair, is the longest-running fair in the Midwest. It begins the Wednesday after Labor Day and runs through Sunday. Fairgoers enjoy an old-fashioned agricultural fair, spread over more than 170 shaded acres, with a number of historic buildings and modern conveniences. The Sandwich Fair boasts the largest number of exhibitor entries of any Illinois fair. Every year, the fairgrounds become a showplace for a wide variety of prized animals, and features events like harness racing, NTPA sanctioned truck and tractor pulls, demolition derbies and grandstand entertainment.
The completely restored and renovated Opera House hosts a variety of theatre-type entertainment on a pre-scheduled seasonal basis for all Sandwich and surrounding community residents—adding a cultural dimension to our small community. The Opera House’s resident theatre group, Indian Valley Theatre, was founded in 1983 with a start-up donation from the American Association of University Women. Indian Valley Theatre (IVT) began in the basement of what is now Castle Bank. Recognizing the need for appreciation of the performing arts in the community, Indian Valley Theatre was created. The first production, “Hansel and Gretel,” was put on at Plano’s Middle School. In 1986, IVT made an agreement with the Association to Restore City Hall (A.R.C.H.) to stage performances there and serve as the home for the long-running Children’s Summer Theatre Workshop.
Indian Valley Theatre’s debut in the historic Opera House was on April 12, 1986, with “The Showcase,” a musical review of all their previous shows. Indian Valley Theatre stages four large productions each year, as well as the Children’s Summer Theatre Workshop and Melodramas at the Sandwich Fair. Over the last 25 years, Indian Valley Theatre has put on more than 60 performances, including “Sugar,” “The Music Man,” “The Mousetrap,” “Hello Dolly!,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Accommodations,” “Oklahoma!,” “The Odd Couple” (Female Version), “The Fiddler on the Roof,” Neil Simon’s “Rumors,” “Cheaper by the Dozen” and what has become a bi-annual holiday tradition, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”
Serving more than 4,000 patrons each year, Indian Valley Theatre has become a vital part of the Fox Valley community. Indian Valley Theatre can be found online at www.indianvalleytheatre.com.