DeKALB – Theresa Robnett established an even tempo as she served corn at the Chuck Siebrasse Corn Boil.
“How many?” she asked, her voice rising above the festival din.
“Three. There you go, honey. Very, very, very hot. Salt and paper at the end table. Enjoy.”
Then she paused before asking someone else if they were ready for the corn, which was piled in a laundry bucket and in a disposable roaster filled to the brim with melted butter. Some visitors just took a ear, but others walked away from the serving tables that spanned Lincoln Highway near Fourth Street with plastic bags laden with corn.
Robnett, of DeKalb, and fellow volunteer Shelley Stark-Andersen, of Genoa, started the day at the Corn Festival’s volunteer booth, with Robnett expecting to end the day volunteering in the beer garden and Stark-Andersen looking forward to returning Sunday as a spectator.
The 37th Corn Fest featured the free corn, as well as free music, a vintage car show, carnival and vendor booths Saturday. The three-day festival wrapped up Sunday. Friday saw an almost two-hour rain delay, but after last year’s storms the organizers were ready, said chairwoman Lisa Angel, who is also the marketing development manager at the Daily Chronicle.
“Last year we had to plan everything to go back downtown,” Angel said. “I’m thrilled with positive feedback we’ve received from the community. I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
The corn-themed Northern Illinois University football jersey auction is open online now through 10 p.m. Sept. 5 at www.cornfest.com/shop. The charity auction benefits local Boy Scout Troop 33 and Voluntary Action Center. It also benefits the Canaday family, as Mark Canaday is battling esophageal cancer while his son, Christopher, was born with pulmonary atresia.
On Saturday, Barbara Nowak wasn’t sure she could finish her second ear of corn when she and her husband, Don, sat at a bistro table near Proton Tattoo, 120 S. Fourth St. They moved to Sycamore in 2006, only experiencing one Corn Fest downtown before it moved to the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport for five years.
Barbara Nowak was excited when she learned the festival was returning to downtown DeKalb last year.
“You should have heard me say, ‘Yoo-hoo, they’re coming back,’” she said.
She was ready for some people-watching by 12:30 p.m. Saturday. She planned to return Sunday to hear Beatles cover band American English perform from 4:30 to 6 p.m., but she had to buy two festival T-shirts Saturday before they ran out.