One of the highlights of the calendar year in the village of Swanton Ohio has to be its annual Corn Festival which has now been going for over a century. The 105th Swanton Corn Festival was held on 17th August 2013 on the village’s Memorial Park and has a different theme every year, with the most recent one being “Pirates of the Corn.”
While unsuspecting visitors to the area may expect little more than a mall town festival in a small village park with a few minor local vendors and some corn thrown in for good measure, this is in fact one of the biggest events in the region. There are many corn memorabilia displays sponsored by local banks and businesses while everything from lamp posts to trash containers gets a touch of corn décor. Thousands of people turn up for this festival from all around the area to participate in some of the many activities held throughout the park including traditional sports like basket ball and volleyball as well as more quaint games like horse-shoe throwing and hop-scotch! There are inflatable’s and play grounds as well as clowns, entertainers and petting zoos for small children while adults can enjoy helicopter rides and a huge car show with multitudes of vintage cars from across the decades. There is miniature golf, a large adult beer area with corn hole and three individual stages where local bands will perform live music all day long. Among the headline acts playing are the Websters of Cincinnati, one of Ohio’s most successful cover-bands who have been drawing in the crowds all across the state since 1992. The band consists of four musicians who have established a terrific reputation thanks to their varied sets that combine unique renditions of classic tunes and medleys of popular songs.
This carnival atmosphere offers fun for the whole family from 8.30am in the morning through to 11pm at night starting with a 5-km fun-run followed by the Corn Festival parade at 10.30am which pays homage to the region’s legendary farmers. There are numerous sporting competitions held across the park throughout the day for children and adults including the festival’s specialty Corn Hole Game boards while Merchant’s Alley offers a wide range of vendors selling local produce as well as hand-made arts and crafts. There are also many food vendors present who will be offering a great selection of food and refreshments to tempt your plate from corn dogs and BBQ chicken to home-made lemonade and local beer. The prestigious Pharaoh’s Car Show is on from 11am to 5pm and this is run in conjunction with the Pharaoh’s Car Club which is a local non-profit organisation based in Fulton County that is open to car enthusiasts of all ages. The club is involved in many charities across the state and is renowned for supporting worthy causes like the Make-A-Wish Foundation so all proceeds from the Swanton Corn Festival car show go back into helping the community.