The Marietta Sweet Corn Festival is almost upon the city again, with free entertainment, live music and some of the area's best local sweet corn in no short supply.
This year's festivities will be located in the eastern part of Muskingum Park off Front Street, from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday and continuing into Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.
Jessie Bigley, of Devola, who is president of the Marietta Sweet Corn Festival committee, said the festivities, which normally take place in the grounds around the Armory in downtown Marietta, have not changed much despite the change of location.
Times file photo
Twin brothers Timmy Weiner, left, and Billy Weiner, right, 7, of Parkersburg, enjoy ears of sweet corn at last year’s festival. The event starts on Friday at 5 p.m. at Muskingum Park, and continues through Saturday.
The festival began in 2008, when a group of local residents started the festival to celebrate the local area's agricultural ties and to help aid local students going through college through small scholarships.
The nonprofit event is made possible by the efforts of local sponsors and producers, especially as a result of The Witten Farm Market's donation of all of the sweet corn used in the festival, said Mark Doebrich, committee vice president.
Even despite the recent dry conditions and widespread power outages, Bigley said there were few troubles associated with getting the festival up and running and obtaining the sweet corn from Witten's Farm Market.
J.D. Williams, Cartoonist: 5 to 9 p.m.
Face painting: 5 to 7 p.m.
Corn hole game for children: 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The Moon Band: 6 to 7 p.m.
Johnny Staats & the Delivery Boys: 7 to 9 p.m.
Sweet Corn Festival Cornhole Tournament, doubles and singles- Sign up at 10 a.m., play at 11 a.m. Pre-registration ($30) can be done by emailing email@example.com or calling 304-483-8940, The cost he day of the event is $40.
6 and under: 11:30 a.m. to noon.
Ages 7 to 9: 4:30 to 5 p.m.
Ages 10 to 12: 5 to 6 p.m.
Corn Eating Contest
Ages 8 to 11: Noon.
Ages 12 to 15: 12:15 p.m.
Ages 16 and up: 12:30 p.m.
Race Course Inflatable: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
Face Painting: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Antique Engines: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
Pampered Pets Petting Farm: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Police & ID Program: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Marietta Fire Safety House: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Corn hole game for children: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Craft Tent: 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 5 p.m.
J. D. Williamson,Cartoonist: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ages 5 and under: 3:30 p.m.
Ages 6 and 7: 3:45 p.m.
Ages 8 and 9: 4 p.m.
Ages 10 to 12: 4:15 p.m.
High Schools That Rock: 3 p.m.
Premiere, Marietta High School's show choir: 5 p.m.
The Price Family: 6 p.m.
For information: www.mariettasweetcorn.com/index.htm
"Thank goodness for Witten's (Farm Market)," Doebrich said. "They donated almost 2,000 ears this year... If it weren't for the selling of corn at $1 an ear... we couldn't provide our scholarships and our festivities."
Doebrich said the scholarships, around two or three per festival, are given out every year to help continue the tradition of agricultural work in the local area.
"We grow the best sweet corn in Ohio and we're so fortunate that Witten's farm donates all of the corn to the Festival," Bigley said. "The money that we make goes back into running the festival next year and into the scholarships."
Bigley also said two winners have already been chosen this year: Autumn Hendershot of Waterford High School and Kylie Seese of Fort Frye High School.
Aside from the scholarships, the festival also offers plenty of free entertainment and music, as well as a cornhole tournament that teams can register for, with the possibility of winning a $400 cash prize.
"I love the childrens' events," Bigley said. "Everything in our childrens' events is free, and in today's economy, that's a good thing."
The childrens' area will have a wide variety of attractions, from a merry-go-round to performance artists including a cartoonist and a balloon artist. There will also be a petting zoo that will host a variety of animals including potbellied pigs, kittens, alpacas and possibly a miniature horse or donkey, according to Bigley.
Doebrich said the highlight for him is the musical acts at the festival. Johnny Staats, a nationally-renowned mandolin-player, and his band The Delivery Boys will be performing after 7 p.m. Friday, following The Moon Band.
Performances on Saturday will include a 3 p.m. performance by High Schools That Rock, a group comprised of local area students from grades two to 12 as well as the Marietta Premiere show choir at 5 p.m. and the bluegrass act The Price Family at 6 p.m.
Bigley said the Witten Farm Market buttered corn will be offered at $1 an ear at vendors throughout the festival, roasted by local area vendor Cowboy Concessions.
Other concessions include The Lion's Club, Uncle Dan's Old-fashioned Ice Cream and Phoenix Concessions.