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Daily Chronicle - Saturday November 27, 2010 - page

Andrew Stahl (right) and Nathan Overmann shuck corn behind the Boy Scout Troop 33 booth during Corn Fest 2010 on Aug. 21 at the DeKalb Municipal Airport. City and festival officials are set to meet soon to discuss where the 2011 festival will be held. (Daily Chronicle file photo)

 

City might prefer annual Corn Fest stays at airport


DeKALB – The location of the 2011 Corn Fest has not been determined, but one city official is advocating its current location.

“From a city standpoint, it makes sense to keep it at the airport,” City Manager Mark Biernacki said during a telephone interview Tuesday.

Biernacki recently told members of the city council that city staff and Corn Fest organizers would meet soon to talk about next year’s location.

Event organizers said they were reluctant to talk about the event and where it might be held until they speak with city officials. Lisa Angel, Corn Fest’s publicity director, said that has not happened yet. Angel works for Shaw Suburban Media, which owns the Daily Chronicle.

“They are suppose to set up a meeting with us,” she said.

The annual free music festival originated in 1977 as a downtown event built around a corn boil that began 20 years earlier. But in 2008, streetscape improvements to the downtown area forced the festival to relocate to the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, where it has been held since.

Street construction in the downtown area will be complete before the start of the 2011 festival in August.

Biernacki said that if organizers want to keep the event the size it is, he thinks the airport is the best option.

“With the size it has become, there is no physical way to bring it back downtown,” he said.

Biernacki also noted that having the event at the airport saves the city money.

“To have the event downtown, it costs roughly $55,000-$60,0000,” he said, noting that the city has to pay employees overtime to clean up after the event and patrol the downtown area during it. “Whereas, to hold it at the airport, it only costs roughly $40,000.”

Biernacki said an exact date has not yet been set as to when city staff will meet with the event’s organizers, but he said it should happen soon

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