Bigger turnout expected for Corn Fest

By Gloria Carr

Dekalb’s Corn Fest is hoping to attract more NIU students by having the celebration begin a week later this year.

The fest traditionally has been held the weekend before classes begin, but local businesses requested the change.

Wayne Studniarz, chairman of the Corn Fest committee, said some local businesses were concerned they were being affected by having Corn Fest coincide with move-in weekend at NIU. The committee then decided to change the fest dates.

“They hope to see a big increase in customers,” Studniarz said. Attendance last year was estimated at 75,000. This year that number is expected to be much higher.

“There are a number of students who never came before but are coming this year in groups,” Studniarz said.

DeKalb resident Ryan Jackson understands the need for a change. “I think it is fine. I see (the businesses) reasoning for better business and to make a better profit,” he said.

Jackson said the fest probably will be more hectic. “I don’t think the surrounding residents are going to like it much. I have friends in that area and they don’t like the noise,” he said.

Studniarz said the change might become permanent, but a decision will not be made until after the fest. He said he has gotten a positive response so far.

Junior Kelly McBride, a history education major, has mixed feelings about the change. “In a way it is good because it gives new students a way to settle in, but at the same time, it’s bad because it was the big thing about move-in weekend,” she said.

“If things go well and if it is a positive improvement, it will be the same next year,” Studniarz said.