FAIRBORN — The City of Fairborn will be “all ears” as it hosts the 38th Annual Sweet Corn Festival.
Attendees can expect to get corny 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18 at Community Park, 691 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road. Dogs and cats are permitted as long as they are leashed.
The traditional event will include a number of family-friendly activities, including pony rides, the Big Bounce, AVA Volkswalk, free entertainment, approximately 180 food vendors and handmade arts and crafts booths including candles, wooden items, jewelry, watercolor and oil paintings, among other items.
Those who attend can also husk a move and enjoy the traditional Sweet Corn Festival feast — BBQ chicken, pork chop sandwiches, fresh-cut watermelon and, the star of the show — steamed sweet corn.
While a number of local farmers have been challenged this year with getting their crops planted in the ground thanks to the rainy start to the summer season, Sweet Corn Festival Chairperson Warren Brown said there will be no corn shortage for the annual “a-maize-ing” event.
Traditional opening ceremonies will be performed beginning 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, followed by the Fairborn Civic Band taking the stage at 11:10; AC Strings/Fairborn Regional Orchestra will entertain starting at noon until the Cardinal Square Dance Club takes the stage at 1 p.m. Sophia and the Shimmy Cats Belly Dancing will lead the way with entertainment starting at 2; followed by Honey Creek Cloggers at 3. Jenna Bryan will perform starting at 4 followed by Young at Heart Line Dancers at 5. Flemming Creek will close out the entertainment for Saturday starting at 6.
Joe Rivers Christian Rocker will tip-off entertainment beginning 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, followed by Ray Brooks Hammer Dulcimer at noon. Yellow Rockers Square Dancing will perform beginning at 1 p.m., followed by 18 Strings Violin and Guitar Duo at 2. Miami Valley Music Men will take the stage at 3, followed by The 5 Point Cloggers at 4. Greg Spahr and Friends will close out the event at 5.
The annual Corn Eating Contest will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Information Booth.
Corn-testants are seated at opposite ends of picnic tables and three heats will take place. Participants will eat one ear of corn that is held by someone standing behind them. The contest show time is slated for 12:30 p.m. with the Master of Ceremonies introducing “corn-testants” at 12:45. Participants will be seated at 12:55 and the rules will be explained. The contest including three rounds of 5-7 minutes each will take place from 1-1:20, while award certificates will be given immediately after.
The Sweet Corn Festival King and Queen — Jamie Hensley and Linda Hall for 2019 — are traditionally the judges of the competition.
Hensley is described as an active Fairbornite, attending Fairborn High School and returning to the community to open Jamie’s Tire and Service in Fairborn, Beavercreek and Xenia after earning his degree from Bowling Greene State University. Hensley serves the Fairborn Rotary Club, Bethlehem Lutheran Church and school, Greene County Community Foundation and Ohio Tire and Automotive Association.
He is married to Paulette Perkins Hensely and has two children, Emma, a recent University of Cincinnati graduate; and Samual, a current University of Cincinnati student.
Hall is described at a proud citizen of Fairborn, graduating from Beavercreek High School and later Wright State University. She retired from the Fairborn Municipal Court and continues to work from Dr. Sally Caraballo and Dr. Stephen Hamilton. While Hall worked for the local municipal court, she got interested in volunteering for her community and began serving the United Way, City of Fairborn, Patriot Ridge Community and Central Apartments.
She has been a member of the City’s Celebration Committee, Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, served as co-chair for Fairborn’s 60th Anniversary Celebration, board of directors for the Fairborn Senior Center and has been a member of the Fairborn Festival Committee for more than 25 years. She has served as the Fourth of July parade grand marshal, proclamation from former Fairborn Mayor Lynn Wolaver and more.
Hall has two children and four grandchildren and is a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Hensely and Hall are taking the reins from 2018 Sweet Corn Festival King and Queen Dan Kirkpatrick and Lori Sue Luckner.
The City of Fairborn will honor the Sweet Corn Festival as it will declare Aug. 12 through Aug. 18 as “Sweet Corn Festival Week” at a future regular council meeting.