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Family Fun

Kline Creek Country Fair to present old-fashioned fun

1890s living history farm to host fair Sept. 1, 2

Attendees will be able to try their hand at old-fashioned games during Kline Creek Farm's Country Fair on Sept. 1 and 2 in West Chicago.
Attendees will be able to try their hand at old-fashioned games during Kline Creek Farm's Country Fair on Sept. 1 and 2 in West Chicago.

WEST CHICAGO – Those who attend the 12th annual Country Fair at Kline Creek Farm won't find any bumper cars or roller coasters.

What they will find is a magician reenacting some of the tricks of famed magician Harry Houdini, as well as the Museum of Wonder and Awe, a 19th century dime museum containing curiosities, oddities, artifacts and relics.

"Today we have entertainment everywhere you look," said Keith McClow, heritage education manager for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, who works at Kline Creek Farm. "You can pick up your phone and watch a movie. Well, back in the 1890s, that wasn't the case. So when people have the chance to gather, like at a country fair, it would be a chance to learn new things, see new technology, meet people and see strange and entertaining things. So we're trying to recreate that atmosphere for people so they can kind of understand what life was like back in the 1890s."

The Country Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 1 and 2 at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago. The 1,167-acre Timber Ridge Forest Preserve is home to Kline Creek Farm, the Forest Preserve District's 1890s living history farm.

Admission to the fair is free, but there are small fees for some activities. Horse-drawn wagon rides will be available for $5 for ages 5 and older and free for children younger than 5.

Attendees will be able to try their hand at old-fashioned games, such as a ring toss game. There also will be the opportunity to learn more about the history taking place during that time period.

"People can learn about women's struggle for the right to vote," McClow said.

Over the years, the Country Fair has proved to be popular.

"Last year, over 4,000 people came to see the fair," McClow said. "I think the main reason people come is that it's a lot of fun, and it's different. It's not like a carnival today. The sounds and the sights are different. It's something unique."

Kline Creek Farm also is unique in that it's a working farm, a sight that is rare to see in DuPage County.

"You can go and see a farm in action," McClow said. "You can see us raising cattle and sheep, and you can see us working in the fields. It is a unique place for people in this area, and the Country Fair is no different. It's something you don't get to experience every day."

To further set the scene, staff and volunteers at Kline Creek Farm will be dressed in period clothes. And those who visit the farm are encouraged not only to watch what is going on, but also to participate in the activities.

"With something like egg collecting, you won't just watch one of our volunteers go in the chicken coop and get all the eggs, the volunteer will explain how to do it, give you the egg basket and let you go into the chicken coop," McClow said.

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If you go

WHAT: 12th annual Country Fair

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept 1 and 2

WHERE: Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago

COST: Free

INFO: dupageforest.org, 630-876-5900

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