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Sandwich officials look ahead to busy year of community events

April 9, 2018 GMT

SANDWICH – With a name like Sandwich, how could people not be intrigued to visit? That’s exactly what Mayor Rick Olson is exploring, as he said he has plans to put Sandwich on the map as a destination for visitors this year.

Police Chief Jim Bianchi said bar and restaurant owners came up with a schedule of six street events for this year, each of them starting at noon and ending at 11 p.m. and featuring entertainment: The Bull Moose Event on June 23 on Main Street between College and Route 34; the Route 34 Pub and Grub Event on July 7 in the parking lot along Old Route 34; the Main Street Pub and Grub event Aug. 4 on Center Street between Main and Green streets; the Derailed Event on Railroad on Aug. 18 between Main and Eddy streets; and the Olde Tyme Inn event Sept. 15 on Main Street between Route 34 and Railroad Street.

Bianchi said he also suggested the Sandwich Bar Association hold an event Sept. 29 on Railroad Street between Main Street and an undetermined area.

He said each event sponsor must make a donation to a local charity.

Olson said during a meeting March 21 that the DeKalb County Tourism Committee will visit Sandwich in May. Their visit will include the hotel, which generates funds for the committee.

He suggested having a bus or similar vehicle to transport the committee members through the city instead of them using their own cars. A Park District official offered their bus.

“We’ll have them captive for 25 to 30 minutes to tell them what Sandwich has to offer visitors. Hopefully, they will be impressed and that information will be distributed in their literature,” Olson said.

A schedule of 36 events planned for the Sandwich Fairgrounds from April through October, in addition to the annual fair, includes several weddings, picnics, parades, Park District fireworks, antiques shows, car shows, wood carvers show, dog show, craft festivals, gun show, old gas engine show, sheep tattooing show, rugby tournament and numerous other events.

Olson said countless people have visited the Sandwich Fair every year, but never visited the city’s downtown. They hope to change this, he said.

Olson said an area resident has shown an interest in taking over management of the city’s hotel on the east side along Route 34.

When this person visited the hotel with Olson, he commented on two open display cases in the lobby and said they should be filled with antiques from the city’s antique dealers. Antiques are one of Sandwich’s main attractions.

Olson said the city receives 10 percent of fees paid to the Visitors and Convention Bureau. The city has accumulated about $20,000 from these fees and Olson said this group should discuss ways to spend it to help attract people to the city.