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DuPage County Fair closes early, will be back in action Saturday

It was a day made for lemon shake-ups.

The DuPage County Fair got off to a hot and muggy start Friday before brewing storms forced organizers to shut down early.

But the fairgrounds will reopen Saturday with fair weather and crowds strolling down the midway, vendors slinging giant bags of kettle corn, little kids petting adorable pigs and sunflowers popping nearly everywhere you look.

Ahead of the storm delay, as the humidity and temperatures climbed, the barns stirred to life, and 4-H kids took care to keep their chickens and ducks well-hydrated.

Summer camps typically flock to the fair on opening day, but several canceled due to the extreme heat, organizers said.

Then forecasts of severe storms Friday evening led organizers to close the grounds at 5:30 p.m., said Jim McGuire, manager of the nonprofit DuPage County Fair Association.

“We’re making sure we’re doing the right thing and getting everyone home safely,” he said.

Musical acts also were rescheduled. Vital Signs, a band of musically talented doctors from Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, were set to perform at 8 p.m. Friday.



The doctors will now rock the house at noon on Sunday. Sammy and the Knights, originally scheduled to perform at 6 p.m., instead will open the fair at noon on Saturday.

“We’re looking forward to having them both here and having some fun with them,” McGuire said. “We’re fortunate and happy that they were able to reschedule with us.”

The county fair will be back in action Saturday with a bumper crop of new attractions. Several alebrijes, surreal animal hybrids brought to life in an art exhibition last year at Cantigny Park, are on display at the fairgrounds. An alebrije octopus spreads its vibrant tentacles just beyond the midway.

Organizers also have added a pickleball and grass volleyball tournament to “get some new people out here who haven’t experienced the fair before,” McGuire said on the eve of the three-day event. “We’re still going to have all of our ag exhibits.”



Tractors that once combed long-gone farmland are on parade. And sheepherding dogs are set to demonstrate a lost art in these parts. The canines don’t need a treat to follow commands and show off an instinctual skill. Hard work is its own reward.

“We’ve been working hard to make the grounds look beautiful and be able to welcome everybody out for a fun, eventful, good time, with a little education involved with it, too,” McGuire said.

And if you’ve soured on lemon shake-ups, the fair will serve a nonalcoholic piña colada in a fresh, hollowed-out pineapple.


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