Sweet Corn Festival weekend

2 fun days celebrate the area’s bounty

Corn on the cob, sweet corn ice cream and corn hole are just a few of the corn-related food and fun activities at this year’s Marietta Sweet Corn Festival.

On Friday and Saturday, fans of the staple crop will gather in Muskingum Park to listen to music, enjoy a magic show, play games and enjoy a hot, buttery ear or two.

“Last year we sold 6,067 ears in 12 hours,” said sweet corn committee chair Jessie Bigley. “The soil conditions and weather in this area are just perfect to grow the best sweet corn in the country.”

Witten Farm Market will once again be providing the sweet corn this year, up to 7,000 ears of their popular “obsession” variety for the 10th anniversary of the festival. The origins of the festival come from celebrating the area’s agriculture.

“We used to do a corn festival but it was too much for us to organize,” said Julie Witten. “When they took over, we were so excited to be a part of it and to donate the corn because we wanted to give back to the community that gives so much to us.”

Witten said her favorite aspect of the festival is that it is so indicative of small town America.

“This festival is what it’s all about, friends reconnecting and just that down-home kind of fun,” she said.

While rain and heat are good for corn crops, the rain that is forecast for Friday is not great for the festival. Bigley assures, however, that activities will go on during light rain. In the event of torrential rain and storms, things will have to close up to let the clouds clear.

“I’m hoping that it just passes us by on Friday but Saturday is supposed to be great,” she said. Currently Saturday’s forecast is partly cloudy with little to no precipitation and temperatures in the 80s.

Entertainment will include Matt Perry and The Whiskey Chasers, the Price Sisters, High Schools That Rock and more. All activities are free, including a craft station, face painting and a bubble wagon. Bigley stresses that the only thing that costs money is the vendors and food. All ears of corn are only $1 and Uncle Dan’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream will be returning with its popular sweet corn ice cream.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary, Bigley said there will be a car show in Muskingum Park, sponsored by Noble County Cruzers, with all proceeds going to children’s charities.

Each year the festival also awards a scholarship to eligible Washington County high school seniors pursuing a degree in agriculture or related areas. This year’s recipient is Katherine Wagner of Waterford. The 2016 Waterford High School graduate spent last year at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster and plans to attend OSU’s main campus next year to study veterinary medicine with a focus on beef.

“I grew up on a farm and around cattle all my life,” she said.

The $750 scholarship will be presented at 5 p.m. Saturday. Wagner said her parents, grandparents and boyfriend will be in attendance.

“I’m so excited to receive the scholarship and to go down and volunteer at the festival,” she said. “This money will buy all my books and will really help me out a lot.”

Schedule of events

Friday

¯ Merry Go Round, 5 to 8:30 p.m.

¯ J. D. Williamson Cartoonist, 5 to 9 p.m.

¯ Face painting, 5 to 9 p.m.

¯ Cornhole for fun, 5 to 9 p.m.

¯ Antique Tractors & Gas Engines, 5 to 9 p.m.

Saturday

¯ Car and Truck Show, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

¯ Merry Go Round,11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

¯ Corn eating contest, ages 8 to 11 at noon; ages 12 to 15 at 12:20 p.m.; ages 16 and up at 12:40 p.m.

¯ Zoot Suit Magician, noon to 4 p.m.

¯ Stage Show, 1 p.m.

¯ J. D. Williamson Cartoonist, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

¯ Stage Show, 2 p.m.

¯ Craft Tent, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 3 to 4:30 p.m.

¯ Pedal Tractor Pull, 3 to 5 p.m.

¯ Coin Hunt, ages 5 and under at 5:10 p.m.; ages 6 and 7 at 5:10 p.m.; ages 8 and 9 at 5:20 p.m.; ages 10 to 12 at 5:30 p.m.

¯ Police & ID Program, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

¯ Face painting, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

¯ Antique Tractors & Gas Engines, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

¯ Pampered Pets Petting Farm, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

¯ Cornhole Game For Fun, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Source: mariettasweetcorn.com