Urbana Sweet Corn Festival Promotes Local Growth

Austin Jacobson

Staff Writer

Austin Jacobson/Prospectus News Above is a view of a 1917 Case steam tractor which was used to cook the corn at the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014.

Austin Jacobson/Prospectus News
Above is a view of a 1917 Case steam tractor which was used to cook the corn at the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014.

From Friday, Aug. 22to Saturday, Aug. 23, the 37th annual Urbana Sweetcorn Festival ruled Main Street in Urbana. Presented by the Urbana Business Association, the festival has become a haven for food, music and fun.

Many of the local businesses along the festival had closed by evening. The few that were still open had customers going in and out of them. Error Records was one of those stores.

Nathan Landolt, Owner of Error Records was busy working the counter of his record store during the festival. Landolt thought that the festival helped local businesses.

Food tents made up most of the attractions at the festival. The largest, one selling sweetcorn, used a 1917 Case steam tractor to cook the corn. The water from its boiler was pumped into a metal tub where the shucked ears were then cooked.

Many college students attended the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival. Student Jack Stevenson said he visited the festival for the food and the music, and felt as though the festival was a good thing for businesses in the area.

Tickets were used as currency to buy food from the vendors. Tickets were purchased at a separate tent from the rest of the vendors for one dollar per ticket.

The types of food varied between carnival foods like corn dogs and burgers to pizza and more exotic foods like Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. There were also treats like ice cream and shaved ice available for purchase.

Sanitation was handled quite well. There was an abundance of trash cans, recycling bins and special bins for the disposal of devoured ears of sweetcorn.  There were plenty of portable toilets for use by the patrons that were easy to locate throughout the festival.

At one area of the festival, a large station was set up where people could get plastic cups of water to drink for free. This was good for patrons attending as the temperature reached up to 88 degrees on Saturday.

In the center of the festival was a play area for kids. There were bouncy castles, an inflatable slide, an inflatable rock climbing wall, and several areas where the kids could play carnival games to win prizes.

Overall, the festival was a fun, community building experience. There were plenty of people having a great time and there was never a shortage of food, drinks, or music to entertain the masses. Next year’s Urbana Sweetcorn Festival is a must attend for lovers of the festival atmosphere, good music, and of course, sweetcorn.

For more information on the annual Urbana Sweetcorn Festival, please visit http://bit.ly/1zYKvHL.