Sweet, sweet corn

12th annual festival continues today with crafts, music, games

Photo by Michele Newbanks Corey Claxon and Emily Schilling of Cowboy Dan Concessions serve corn to Little Hocking residents Merewyn Weinkauf and her sons, Jackson, 3, and Clayton, 2, on Friday at the Marietta Sweet Corn Festival.

The high heat and humidity didn’t keep the crowds away from Muskingum Park for the opening day of the 12th annual Marietta Sweet Corn Festival.

People lined up to buy $1 ears of sweet corn, which were donated by Witten Farm Market, while others sat on hay bales and listened to the sounds of Back Porch Alibi, a progressive, Americana blues band.

“I figured the crowd would be down. I’m hoping that people come,” said Jessie Bigley, Sweet Corn Festival chairwoman.

Last year, a record 8,346 ears of corn were sold in 12 hours, she noted.

On Friday, the tent was packed with people eating ears of corn, kettle corn and corn dogs.

Photo by Michele Newbanks Ryker Bungard, 4, chows down on an ear of corn at the Marietta Sweet Corn Festival in Muskingum Park Friday.

Vienna resident Ryan Bungard was sitting with his 4-year-old son, Ryker, and the boy could barely wait to let the corn cool before biting into it.

“My wife told me about it and she had found it on Facebook,” he said of his wife, Brittany.

“Ryker’s a big fan of corn,” she said with a laugh.

While people were busy buying and eating the corn, others were behind the scenes shucking it to be roasted.

Lisa Copenhaver of Marietta decided to come to the festival to volunteer her time, despite the heat.

“They’ve got a fan going and I get water,” she said. “I’m dressed for it. I came and volunteered and met some new people.”

Along with ears of corn, there are other foods available for purchase from Witten’s market, including tomatoes and cantaloupes. But it is the sweet corn most people were there to buy and eat.

Little Hocking resident Merewyn Weinkauf said she was excited to be at the festival with her sons, Jackson, 3, and Clayton, 2.

“We love the corn,” she said with a laugh. “Although it is really hot out.”

Saturday’s main stage entertainment includes the Marietta Ukulele Choir at 3 p.m., High Schools That Rock at 3:30 p.m. and Pickin’ On Country at 5:30 p.m.

The corn eating competition will be held at noon and registration for the Noble County Cruzers car show begins at 10 a.m. with the car show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

While the adults are listening to music and visiting the car show, the children have an area set aside for their activities, such as face painting, a merry-go-round and bubble wagon. An inflatable obstacle course, Pampered Pets Petting Zoo, coin hunt and craft tent will also be open today for the young attendees.

The police will have an ID program and the smoke house education trailer will be open Saturday.

“Everything at the children’s area is free,” Bigley noted.

Festivities begin at 11 a.m. and run until 8 p.m.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

Marietta Sweet Corn Festival Saturday schedule

• Noble County Cruzer’s Car and Truck Show: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Merry-go-round: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Corn eating contest on stage:

• For ages 8 to 11: Noon

• For ages 12 to 15: 12:20 p.m.

• For ages 16+: 12:40 p.m.

• J. D. Williamson Cartoonist: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Stage shows begin at 2 p.m.:

• J D Williamson Cartoonist, 2 p.m.

• Marietta Ukulele Choir, 3 p.m.

• High Schools That Rock, 3:30 p.m.

• Scholarship presentation, 5 p.m.

• Pickin On Country, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

• Craft tent: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 3 to 4:30 p.m.

• Coin hunt:

• For age 5 and under: 5 p.m.

• For ages 6 and 7: 5:10 p.m.

• For ages 8 and 9: 5:20 p.m.

• For ages 10 to 12: 5:30 p.m.

• Police and ID program: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Face painting: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Antique tractors and gas engines: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

• Pampered Pets Petting Farm: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Corn hole: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Source: Marietta Sweet Corn Festival.