Corn Fest welcomes students to DeKalb businesses, community

By Roxana Moraga

Students who stayed in DeKalb Labor Day weekend were able to participate in Corn Fest activities.

Now in its 36th year, Corn Fest moved back to downtown DeKalb, to the delight of some locals. Corn Fest is usually held over NIU’s Move-In weekend. Corn Fest chairperson Lisa Angel said it is precisely because of Corn Fest’s return to downtown that the festival had to be held over a different weekend.

“When we wanted to move back downtown, there was too much happening in the city with Move-In weekend to put the events so close together,” Angel said.

Angel did not think moving the festival would hurt its turnout.

“I think it’ll be a lot easier for students to come to Corn Fest since they’re not busy moving in; it gives them something to do in DeKalb,” Angel said. “Corn Fest is a staple event in DeKalb. Even students who have graduated often come back every year.”

Corn Fest features free concerts, as it is one of the last free music festivals in Illinois, according to the Corn Fest website. There are also booths that offer everything from roasted corn to massages. Saturday, Students could be found exploring the booths and enjoying the carnival rides. Lizy García, an NIU student from DeKalb, is no stranger to the festival. Her favorite part? “The free corn.”

García recommended the festival to other students.

“Corn Fest gives NIU students something fun to do and all you have to do is come downtown,” Garcia said.

For others, Corn Fest is a new experience: First-time worker Ashley Dunnam said her favorite part of the festival was getting to know the local businesses and meeting all the townspeople.

“It’s a great way to get connected to the community, especially for students,” Dunnam said.

NIU groups also participated by volunteering their time to help out at booths. These included Greek organizations as well as athletic teams like the baseball, wrestling and track and field squads. Amanda Trancoso, track and field team member, said she enjoyed working with her teammates to help out the community.

Corn Fest will be back in town next year.

“Come prepared because it gets hot, but come hungry because there’s a lot of food,” García said.

Dunnam said to check the weather and bring lots of water.

Angel’s recommendation for students next year?

“Definitely put [Corn Fest] on your to-do list.”