WILMINGTON — It’s almost time for skillet tossing, maple syrup, apple butter and the Golden Cob Award for the best-looking outhouse. The 38th annual Clinton County Corn Festival will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the fairgrounds.
Live music, a 10 a.m. Saturday parade through downtown, food vendors, a flea market and crafts are among the other attractions.
The 7 p.m. Saturday Corn Olympics has a new master of ceremonies — Jonathan McKay, who’s an Antique Power Club member, a local real estate agent and an unopposed Republican nominee for Wilmington City Council’s First Ward seat. He said Tuesday he is preparing to emcee by doing his homework and taking notes from his work colleague Gary Kersey, who formerly hosted the Corn Olympics.
As of Tuesday morning, there were three teams confirmed for the Olympics: the Fellowship of Praise church, Wilmington Nursing and Rehabilitation, and Hope Over Heroin. Corn Olympic organizers are hoping for at least one more team for the World War II themed event, McKay said.
The 29-year-old McKay said he has never missed a Corn Festival.
“There are pictures of me there in a stroller,” he remarked. “I’m proud to be hosting the Corn Olympics for the community.”
For his part, McKay said he enjoys the festival’s people, atmosphere and food, and also really likes the large role that local civic organizations play and the homage the festival pays to the county’s agricultural heritage.
The weekend entertainment acts will be held at the mobile sound stage and the Expo Center facility. On Friday, the Wilmington and Kettering based band Riverest Trio & Friends will perform for 90 minutes starting at 6 p.m. They play a variety of music, which will include patriotic songs because Friday is 9/11.
On Saturday, acts include Jericho Road at 4:15 p.m., vocalist Lauren Kelly at 5:30 p.m., David Wayne at 6:45 p.m., and the Sterling Bluegrass Boys and the George Brothers, both at 8 p.m. at the sound stage and Expo Center, respectively.
The youthful Charlie’s Bucket Band, from this summer’s “Saturday Mornings at The Murphy” arts workshops, will perform each day of the festival, while the Wilmington High School vocal group Wilmingtones will sing for half an hour starting 2:45 p.m. Sunday in the Expo Center.
If you want to learn about Abraham Lincoln, local expert Gary Kersey will speak about Lincoln’s parents from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Expo Center.
A chicken dinner will be served in the 4-H Building on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
And the feature tractor this year is John Deere.
The festival’s admission price is $4, with a weekend pass $7. Children 12 and younger get in free.
All vehicular traffic is to use the South Nelson Avenue entrance to the fairgrounds. The West Main Street entrance will be for pedestrians only (or vehicles with a special parking permit tag).
There is no admission fee on Thursday evening, Sept. 10 for a preview at which some antique tractors will be on display and some vendors will be open.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.
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