Greene County News Report
FAIRBORN – The Fairborn Lions Club has been supplying the Sweet Corn Festival with its corn, chicken and fritters since 1982. The Lions steam the corn in the husk using a wood burning steam engine.
The engine is configured to steam 15 dozen ears at a time, and does so to over 8,000 ears of corn during a period of more than two days. The husks are pulled back by handlers with thick rubber gloves and the ear is dipped in a liquid butter mixture before handing to customers. Brentlinger Farms, who supplies all the corn, also sells fresh corn to go. They make three dedicated plantings to ensure at least one is at its peak for the festival.
The club feels that grilling the chicken to feed the hungry crowds got to be so grueling that ten years ago, the Lions hired Sam’s Char Cart out of Indiana to help meet the demand. The chicken halves arrive packed in ice, they are spread onto a wire cage and placed on a conveyer belt that rotates within the charcoal fired “Char Cart.” The cages of chicken dip through a mixture of spices and herbs with a hint of vinegar. An average of 140 chicken halves are served per hour during the festival.
The ever popular Corn Fritters are deep fried in a cooker designed and built by Lion Members Gene Anderson and Dick Zeller. The fryer will turn out over 300 golden brown fritters per hour and thousands are sold during the festival.
Sponsored by the Lions and the Fairborn Art Association, the dates for this year’s festival is 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday Aug.15, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday Aug.16 at Fairborn’s Community Park East at 750 E. Dayton Yellow Springs Road. Free admission and parking is provided. Advertised as a family-fun event, there are children’s activities, over 180 art and crafts booths, corn eating contests, local entertainment and a variety of food options to choose from.
Greene County News Report compiled by Whitney Vickers.