It’s that time of year again. Time to head over for some ears of corn and a bushel of family fun! The Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce (CRCC) Hometown Festival’s Corn Roast and Family Fun Day are back, set for June 9 and 10 on the Crown Point square.
As usual, the festival kicks off with the nearly 50-year-old Corn Roast, a delicious tradition that began as a one-day event. According to co-chairs Erika Dahl, director of communications for the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, and Rich Day, vice president of treasury management at Centier Bank, the Corn Roast lasts two days and is a great family event.
“One thing that stands out is that it’s a kickoff to summer; it’s one of the first events in the entire Region where the streets are shut down and there are food vendors and entertainment,” says Dahl. “It’s a great way for businesses to get their name out there and interact with the public.”
The weekend’s organizers are stocked and ready with our Regional favorite. From 4 to 11 p.m. June 9 and noon to 11 p.m. June 10, the Shriners will be selling buttery ears of golden corn. According to Shriner John Cotton, almost 6,800 ears of corn and 100 pounds of butter will be prepared. Other food vendors, including local and regional restaurants, food trucks and concessions, will offer their fare on Main Street.
Little ones can jump in and on inflatables and enjoy games at the Kids Zone, on Joliet Street between Court and Main Streets, from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday. The beer garden offers those 21 and older a chance to enjoy a “cold one” from 4 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and 2 to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday.
You say you want entertainment? The Hometown Festival obliges magic from Nicky Jade: Magic from the Asylum from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, with shows beginning at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. From 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., the Main Street Stage features music by Pandora Rocks. On Saturday, Five Star DJ and Karaoke entertain from noon to 6 p.m.
The excitement and activities continue on Saturday at Family Fun Day featuring Dollie's Parade with Princesses and Superheroes at noon. With last year’s name change, the parade has expanded to include adults dressed in superhero and princess costumes leading children through the event. Kids are welcome to dress up and have photos taken with the superheroes and princesses after the parade.
On Saturday, there’s the Corn-on-the-Cob-Eating Contest, with registration from noon to 1 p.m. Contestants in two categories – ages 12 and younger and 13 and older – compete to see who can eat an ear of corn the fastest to win the trophy. A $1 donation to the Shriners is requested.
Independent vendor TNB Cornhole will run a Blind Draw Corn Hole Tournament beginning at 2:30 p.m. Participants will register individually starting at 2 p.m., with a drawing to determine the teams. ACO boards, Beerbelly bags and scoreboards will be used. Cash prizes will be awarded. Entrance fee is $10 per person.
Saturday’s events include a beer garden from 2 to 10:30 p.m. Nicky Jade: Magic from the Asylum performs again on the hour from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and Pawnz will play on the Main Street Stage from 7:30 to 10 p.m.
“We try to add new things each year to get people excited about it; for instance, as of last year we have a mascot,” Dahl notes of the ear of corn mascot. “It’s an event that’s greatly anticipated. People in surrounding communities know about it and come out.”
Come by Friday and Saturday to take part in all the activities, eat delicious corn and other tasty treats, enjoy great music and relax in beer garden. There are plenty of children’s activities and fun for kids of all ages!