Organizers find way to keep Olathe Sweet Corn Festival

After 21 years of a robust Olathe Sweet Corn Festival, the ever-popular event is scaling back and going to its roots.

The festival will go from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at Olathe Community Park, 1300 Park Place, in Olathe.

Born in 1992, the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival was created as a celebration of the community’s agricultural jewel: “Olathe Sweet” sweet corn, according to the history link at olathesweetcornfest.com.

“From day one, the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival has been about the local people. Sweet corn has a way of bringing people together and providing them with a sense of community and accomplishment,” the website said.

In 1996, when the festival grew beyond the town’s ability to accommodate the masses, a new site was determined and Olathe Community Park was founded as a 37-acre multi-use park underwritten in part by the revenues from the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival, the town of Olathe, Great Outdoors Colorado, the Montrose Economic Development Council and other friends of the festival.

“With the festival’s continued success, it grew into a two-day event and infrastructures such as off-site parking, shuttle services, a campground, and other public services were addressed to meet the event’s growing demands,” the website said.

With attendance peaking at 20,000 in recently years, and attracting big name performers, the festival became a financial risk.

Earlier this year, after a decision to cancel the festival altogether, the town trustees decided the festival would go on but in a subdued fashion.

The “Back to our Roots”-themed one-day festival will feature family games, a corn-eating competition and all-you-can-eat ears of corn.

Along with corn-on-the-cob, the festival’s entertainment will be provided by homegrown bands: Social Behavior will perform at noon; Audio Blind, 2 p.m.; Kenny Brent Band, 4 p.m.; CFB, 5 p.m.; and The Ram Band, 6 p.m.

Tickets will be sold at the gate and will cost $5 for adults and $3 for ages 12 and younger.

Call 866-363-2676 or go to olathesweetcornfest.com for information.


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