WILMINGTON — With the return of a beloved local event that attracts folks from far and wide, attendees can expect some new attractions along with all the old favorites.
The annual Corn Festival, presented by the Antique Power Club of Clinton County, is set for Sept. 10-12 at the fairgrounds.
Corn Festival Committee member Jonathan McKay told the News Journal they’re excited to present the festival after canceling last year’s due to the pandemic.
“We’re back — and it’s going to be really exciting,” said McKay.
But with last year’s cancellation, “We’ve had an extra year to plan. So, that’s why we have some special things planned for this year,” he said.
Among the big events are the return of the Corn Olympics — emceed by McKay — starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10 with this year’s theme: M*A*S*H*. Six teams/groups have already signed up with a limit of eight — so there’s still time to register your team.
The Corn Festival Downtown Parade will take place starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11. For anyone wishing to participate, they don’t need to sign up, but they must have a valid driver’s license.
There will be a concert in the grandstands by the country music band Little Texas on Saturday, September 11, presented by the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau. The band is known for hits including “God Blessed Texas” and “What Might Have Been.”
At dusk on Friday and Saturday, there will be a Steam Engine Spark Show which can be viewed at the Power Club Demonstration Area.
Around noon on Saturday, September 11, there will be a special 9/11 memorial announcement to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the event.
“We’re just going to make an announcement. There’s not going to be anything formal,” said McKay.
The weekend’s events are for all ages and wide-ranging, from demonstrations to competitions including: a working sawmill with steam engine; firing up of the historic, huge Fairbanks-Morse engine; more live music; car and tractor shows; beehive basics; and events ranging from belt-up to nail-driving to tractor pulls, tug-o-war, bucket fishing, and corn cob toss to rock crushing and a pie-eating contest.
“The Corn Festival is an event that we know a lot of Clinton Countians look forward to every single year,” McKay said. “We’re very excited to be bringing it back to the county and surrounding region.”
Daily admission is just $4. Gates open at 11 a.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.