South Vienna Corn Festival harvests togetherness

A lot of planning goes into the three days.

The three-day festival runs from Friday through Sunday in downtown South Vienna.

“The festival brings everybody together,” said South Vienna Mayor Toni Keller, who is also the festival’s co-chair and been involved since its beginning. “It still brings excitement. We plan for nine months, and everybody works hard to put it together.”

She said there will be 25 more vendors this year, offering everything from crafts, flowers, handmade furniture and jewelry to woodcarvings on sight.

Activities will actually get started 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, with the Corn Festival Queen Contest at South Vienna Elementary School with eight Northeastern High School seniors competing.

Keller said additional parking will be available this year including on the Ritchie Bros. auctioneers grounds and near the athletic fields. Handicapped parking is available next to the school.

Shuttles and golf carts will transport attendees to and from the activity area.

The opening ceremony will be 6 p.m. Friday, with the food vendors, crafts and rides in full swing until 11. The Smokin’ Ham Band, a new addition to the entertainment, will play live classic country music from the 1960s to the ’90s beginning at 7 p.m.

Saturday kicks off with the corn cook-off contest at 10 a.m., with common and unusual foods all made with corn on display. The annual parade is at 2 p.m. and a cornhole contest following at 3. Classic rock ’n’ roll and rhythm-and-blues performed by the Legacy Band begins at 7.

Sunday activities start with a casual dress church service at 10:30 a.m. A kiddie tractor pull will be at 1 p.m. and live gospel music performances by Kevin Mabry and Enabling Grace, also begin at 1.

All-day ride tickets are available for $18 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday.

Corn and the event’s signature pork chops and several other food choices will be available throughout the festival.

“People come back year after year, like a reunion,” Keller said.

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