Merchants, officials promoting city

April 5, 2019

The Sandwich Tourism Committee, composed of Sandwich-area merchants, is working to promote the city’s downtown and various events taking place in the community.

Mayor Rick Olson said about 12 people attended a recent committee meeting to discuss events planned for the coming year.

“We’ve had upwards of 20 at previous meetings, but this was still a good meeting,” he said.

“There was discussion on how to highlight the events to allow [online] links to the originating hosts for the events,” he said.

“Kathy Koehler will present ideas on how to make the links at the next meeting,” he said.

Koehler, a committee member, also has been adding more information on the committee’s calendar and webpage. Olson said she is a webmaster with her own business called Willow Office Solutions.

Olson said Zach Ruh from the Sunday at Sandwich Antique Show will be at the committee’s April 17 meeting to discuss ideas he and his staff have for the future events at the Sandwich Fairgrounds.

Olson said Rebecca Johnson produces “Music in the Park” on Wednesday nights during the summer in Sandwich’s downtown gazebo. Johnson, a talent promoter and owner of RJ Music Company, talked about improving the group’s events calendar to link up with other events and the committee’s website.

“I also have a few spots open in my Wednesday events,” she said.

“A spirited conversation regarding the Epic Light Show for December of 2019 was held,” Olson said, referring to Larsen’s Epic Light Shows in Elburn at Brian Larsen’s home on Route 72.

“The attraction of attending these light shows has a real following. People go from place to place to experience these displays. I am told that people will travel to a location in the Fox Valley area, stay at a local hotel and attend all of the light shows in that area. And they stay at local hotels, eat at local restaurants and shop at local stores, making this a winning situation for everyone. And it makes for a very beautiful holiday tradition,” Olson said.

Olson said several committee members would like to see bus tours organized to visit similar displays throughout the area.

“The task of the committee will be to capitalize on the drive-thru traffic to promote local businesses. Indications from other locations, such as Elburn and Goebbert’s Winter Wonderland in Pingree, say the traffic and public response has been unbelievable,” he said.

Olson said Roger Prindiville, owner/operator of Prindi’s in downtown Sandwich, and the city’s 10 other antique and specialty shops are creating an advertising format for the community. And the tourism committee is helping broaden the scope of the advertising to include other retail and restaurant businesses in the area.

Olson said the committee plans to produce a film or video through the DeKalb County Visitors and Convention Bureau that will be viewable on the Sandwich page of the Bureau and the Sandwich Tourism website.

“They are requesting some high-quality videos and photos for the site,” the mayor said.

“I feel, as many of us do, that the city does not take full advantage to promote Sandwich with the numerous [Sandwich] Fairgrounds events. They literally have something there every week.

“The Tourism Group has identified that situation and will attempt to develop ways of informing attendees at these events that there is actually a community named Sandwich outside of Suydam Road,” he said, referring to the road on which the fairgrounds is located.

The committee meets in the Sandwich City Hall Annex, 128 E. Railroad St., and all meetings are open to the public.

The next meeting will be at 7 p.m., April 17.

“There are no officers in the group. Everyone is just a member,” Olson said. “We welcome hearing thoughts and questions from anyone,” Olson said.