Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Damned With [Corny] Faint Praise 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
I don't know what I find most hilarious about this article: the writing, the subject matter, the comments about Joan Jett's show at the annual DeKalb [IL] Corn Fest ["attractive performance"? Do corn cobs perform?] sandwiched jarringly between Corn Fest trivia, or the title:
Festival draws decent crowd
from: Metro News (www.star.niu.edu)

Rain keeps some away from Corn Fest; dedicated make it out.
Thousands of people crowded the streets of downtown DeKalb streets at this year's Corn Fest. Corn fans packed the streets of downtown DeKalb for their chance to eat butter-drenched ears at the city's 26th annual Corn Fest.

Last year, about 200,000 people attended the fest. Although the number was slightly smaller this year, at about 150,000, attendance was still large, said Corn Fest Board Chair David Emanuelson. Kim Kubiak, executive director of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, said there was more of everything this year.

"The fact that Corn Fest is the week after students move in is attracting more people - it's good for attendance," Kubiak said. 15 local organizations performed at the community stage, and more than 150 food and craft vendors set up booths.

"The most attractive performance was Joan Jett and the Blackhearts," Kubiak said. Joan Jett's single "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" hit the top of the Billboard Charts in March 1982 and stayed No. 1 for seven weeks, according to www.joanjett.com.

The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce became the sponsor of the fest in the 1960s, which was then called "Corn Boil." In 1977, it became known as Corn Fest. "At the 1977 festival is when Corn Fest rendered its largest expansion with the sound stage as a major attraction. And the carnival was added," Kubiak said. Don Merwin, Kishwaukee-DeKalb Kiwanis Club member, said he has been to the event the past 28 years.

"We sell corn and have a 50/50 raffle in which all of the money goes back into the community," Merwin said. "This is one of our major fundraising events for the year that helps us reach our goals," Merwin said. The Kiwanis Club recently put in bike paths throughout DeKalb that now connect the local parks and reach all the way to Sycamore.

The corn offered at the fest is a big attraction for people from outside the area, Merwin said. "Some people from Chicago make a habit of coming here just to get the corn," Merwin said.

NIU students also make Corn Fest part of their annual school return. Jake Lannert, a junior political science major, said this was the first year he ate the corn at Corn Fest. "Last year was my first time at Corn Fest, but I didn't eat the corn, and now I feel deprived," Lannert said.
Is, as Kubiak claims, "more of everything this year" a good thing? Alas, even city slickers need their fix of Butter Drenched Ears, consumed in the streets...sounds like a scene from a bad zombie movie. Note that "[s]ome people from Chicago make a habit of coming here just to get the corn," since there is likely no other reason they would leave the Glittering Metropolis-on-the-Prairie to visit DeKalb.

Sorry - I'm currently in "snark" mode after watching the RNC.