DeKalb is all ears for Corn Fest weekend


Three-year-old Livi Brennan from Plano enjoys corn on the cob at the annual DeKalb Corn Fest Saturday.

By Dan Martynowicz

DeKalb’s 33rd annual Corn Fest took place this past weekend at DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, 3232 Pleasant St. The free music and corn festival is planned, maintained and executed by a volunteer staff every year, according to the event’s website.

Some of this year’s muscial highlights included bands FireHouse and Hi Infidelity, along with country artist Phil Vassar.

Sponsors and food vendors make up the bulk of the funds used to put on the event, and range from national banks to major breweries, NIU and national restaurant chains.

Among the volunteers were the NIU women’s softball and basketball teams. “We have a lot of fans in the local community. They support us so we want to support them right back,” said Bianca Brown, NIU basketball team member and master’s student in sports management.

In addition to carnival rides, free sweet corn and lots of food, Corn Fest offers live entertainment. The WWII-era B-17 bomber “Sentimental Journey” as well as a Russian built MiG and several other vintage aircraft were on display. Rides were available on the B-17, helicopter and bi-plane.

An exotic animal show was displayed by “Ed and Annette’s Monkeys and More,” featuring a chimpanzee named Lisa, a Savannah monitor lizard named Sarah and one very hairy tarantula.

Martial Arts groups, belly dancers and dance troops ranging in grades from kindergarten through high school also performed.

The list of past musicians includes Joan Jett, Blue Oyster Cult, .38 Special, The Marshall Tucker Band and Lady Antebellum.

“It is one of the last free music festivals in northern Illinois,” said Lisa Angel, event manager of Corn Fest. “We have something for everyone from the carnival to the car show.”