By Amanda Crowe
FAIRBORN — The Fairborn Sweet Corn Festival will offer a bushel of family fun and the cream of the crop from local vendors this Saturday and Sunday.
The 33rd annual arts and crafts festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 16 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 17 at Community Park, 691 East Dayton-Yellow Springs Road. The two-day, family-friendly event is co-sponsored by the Fairborn Art Association and the Fairborn Lions Club.
“We’ve tried to keep this a good, family-oriented event that supports family activities with good food, opportunities to buy from local crafters, and fun for the kids,” said Sweet Corn Festival committee president Warren Brown. “It’s important for people to know how the city and different groups are working together for this community event.”
In 1982, the first Sweet Corn Festival was held at the Fairborn Lion Den Park in Rona Hills. The following year, the festival was moved to the grounds of Central Jr. High School. In all subsequent years, the festival has been held at Community Park. The festival continued to grow, from only 40 booths with an attendance of a few thousand people to nearly 200 booths with an attendance of more than 45,000 people.
“We have a record number of vendors this year. We ran out of spots and have had to rearrange to get them all in,” Brown said.
There will be approximately 180 handmade arts and crafts booths with candles, wood items, jewelry, watercolor and oil paintings, and much more. Patrons can enjoy the favorites such as sweet corn cooked with steam from a 1918 steam engine, pork chop sandwiches, and fresh cut watermelon.
The Sweet Corn Festival committee is also bringing back their recipe book for the first time in eight years. These will be available for $5 each at the festival.
“We actually had people asking about the cook books so we took submissions this year and added them to the book from eight years ago,” said committee member Lori Luckner. “This expanded version has more than 100 recipes, all including sweet corn.”
Many traditions of the festival started the first year. They began with the ribbon cutting by the king and queen, signaling the beginning of the festival. The 2014 Sweet Corn Festival king and queen Carl and Rhonda Day will do the honors at 11 a.m. this Saturday.
The traditional Corn Eating Contest will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday and is among the many free entertainment options for festival goers. The two-day schedule is packed with returning favorites and a few new faces.
All-day Saturday and Sunday, children can look forward to pony rides, face painting, train rides, and the Big Bounce. Bonez from the Dayton Demonz hockey team will be at the festival both days, and Heater from the Dayton Dragons will visit at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Patrons can also get an up-close look at the Fairborn Professional Firefighters Local 1235 pink medic and learn more about their “Turning Up the Heat on Breast Cancer” campaign.
Parking and admission for the Sweet Corn Festival are free. For more information visit the Sweet Corn Festial website at www.fairbornsweetcornfestival.org or scan the QR code.
Amanda Crowe is editor of the Fairborn Daily Herald covering Fairborn, Yellow Springs, Enon and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Contact her by phone at 878-3993 ext. 134 or on Twitter @FairbornHerald.