Corn the main attraction at local festival

Juicy sweet corn, a corn hole tournament and live entertainment will mark the weekend’s annual Sweet Corn Festival in downtown Marietta.

There are many attractions for the weekend, said Jessie Bigley, president of the festival.

“I think the corn (is the biggest attraction),” she said. “And thanks to Witten’s; they’re donating all the corn this year.”

Bigley said the event will have one new item for children to enjoy.

“We’re having a bubble wagon for the kids,” she said. “It’s just a wagon with a container in it that’s filled with bubbles. There are wands made of PVC pipe and the kids can make these giant bubbles.”

She said the wagon is provided free of charge.

“We’ve got the wagon, we’ve got the wands (for the bubbles), we’ve got volunteers,” Bigley said. “I know the kids will love it.”

Festival Vice President Mark Doebrich said there are some attractions that are a big hit every year.

“The biggest (event) for children seems to be the face painting,” he said. “They have decals (and paints). The kids love getting their faces painted.”

In addition, there will be inflatables, a cartoonist and a magician. A carousel will kick off the festivities and run the entire weekend. All of the activities are free, except for the corn, which costs $1 an ear.

Doebrich added that there is one event that is popular among many age groups.

“One of the big hits is the corn eating contest,” he said. “It’s free and you can eat as much corn as you can handle.”

The event is broken down among age groups: 8 to 11, which starts at noon, 12 to 15, which starts at 12:15 p.m., and 16 and older, which starts at 12:30 p.m. The contests are on Saturday.

In addition to sweet corn, there will also be other vendors selling food, including Cowboy Concessions, which will offer barbecue pork, sirloin burgers and lemonade; the Marietta Noon Lions, which will offer hot dogs, fries and fish sandwiches; a kettle corn stand and Uncle Dan’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream.

There will also be a corn hole tournament, which will take place on Saturday, with sign-ups starting at 10 a.m. and doubles following at 11 a.m. The singles tournament will follow doubles.

“There’s a payout of $600 (total),” Bigley said. “It brings people from out of the area. I think we had people here from Pennsylvania (last year).”

There is a charge to participate in the tournament: $30 a team for preregistration by July 18, $40 a team the day of the competition.

Doebrich said the event not only has good food and fun for children, it has superb music.

“Of course I really enjoy getting involved with the music,” he said. “We have some really outstanding music (all weekend).”