Celebrate County’s Heritage At The Sweet Corn Fiesta

Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds is the place to be on Sunday, April 27 to enjoy some of the best locally grown sweet corn, watch amateurs and professionals chow down during a competitive corn-eating contest, and partake in a number of other outdoor festivities.

The 14th annual Sweet Corn Fiesta will provide all of this and more from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 27. More than 4,000 visitors are expected to attend.

Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 11 and free to kids 5 and under. A $5 unlimited rides wristband is available for kids. Parking is free. No outside food or beverages are permitted.

“This is a great value for a day of family-friendly entertainment,” organizer Ann Holt said.

The festivities include kids’ games and rides, fresh sweet corn and other fair-type foods, and a sweet corn recipe contest sponsored by Farm Credit. Those who wish to participate should bring their sweet corn dish already prepared. The winner will receive $100.

The contests will begin at 1 p.m. and will include an old-fashioned bathing suit competition, a kids’ shucking contest, adult shucking and amateur eating contests, and the International Corn Eating Contest featuring professional eaters around 3 p.m. The winner will take home $2,500 and the title of International Corn Eating Champion. The current record is 46 ears in 12 minutes, which was set in 2010 at the Sweet Corn Fiesta by Joe LaRue. The reigning champion is Notorious B.O.B. (Bob Shoudt).

Winners of the kids’ contest will receive a medal and bragging rights. Adult amateur winners will receive a trophy and $100. To enter, participants must sign up before 12:45 p.m. No entry fee is required.

Live music, including the Krystal River Band, will be playing between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and will culminate with a 4 p.m. concert with singer-songwriter-musician Tom Jackson. His brand of music is a new driving, aggressive style of country music. Jackson was hand-picked to have a private audition for the hit NBC television show The Voice, where he made it to the final round.

The Sweet Corn Fiesta celebrates Palm Beach County’s heritage as the “corn capital of the world.” Palm Beach County grows more sweet corn than anywhere else in the world. Local farmers cultivate more than 27,000 acres yearly. Few counties grow half that acreage. With a shelf life of a week to 10 days, the local yield is quickly shipped to supermarkets throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

The Sweet Corn Fiesta is an outreach activity of the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau and is made possible by sponsors and volunteers. Proceeds go to agriculture education and advocacy, and to Glades area food banks. For more information, call (561) 996-0343 or visit www.sweetcornfiesta.com.

ABOVE: Celebrate sweet corn on April 27.