Olathe corn festival sweetens the lineup by adding extra day

OLATHE — Visitors to the 2011 Olathe Sweet Corn Festival will have extra incentive to show up this year — a second day. The 20th anniversary festival will be a two-day event, featuring a second concert in a drive to increase festival attendance.

“Two days, two concerts, same price,” festival director Bobby Sale said.

Prices for general admission and VIP are being reduced to give people a greater value and incentive to attend, Sale said. General admission for the Friday and Saturday event, Aug. 5–6, is listed at $18, she said.

Streamlining the festival’s budget allowed for the addition of a second concert, Sale said.

Sale, the special events coordinator for Olathe, said profits from the festival fund various youth and senior-citizen programs in town.

The first Olathe Sweet Corn Festival was held on a $2,500 budget. Last year’s budget was around $300,000, with $120,000 going toward entertainment and $5,000 toward a fireworks display, Sale said. The 2010 festival lost money, which Sale attributed to the recession and a lack of money people had for entertainment.

“We just wanted to increase the amount of people to help offset the costs in putting on the event,” she said “We’re attempting to maybe draw local people who haven’t come for awhile.”

Friday’s festivities will begin at 3 p.m. with a classic car show and burnout at the Olathe baseball field in downtown. Festival gates open at 5 p.m., and rock band The Guess Who, with hits such as “American Woman,” “These Eyes” and “Share the Land,” is set to play at 9 p.m.

Saturday, gates open at 9 a.m. with events such as the annual sweet-corn-eating contest and talent show held during the day. Singer-songwriter Aaron Tippin is scheduled to perform at 9 p.m.

Tickets go on sale April 15 at the festival office in Olathe, 420 Horton Ave., or call 970-323-6006 or (866) 636-CORN (2676).

Sale said organizers are working to develop new activities and music acts for this year. Those details will soon be available on the festival website, http://www.olathesweetcornfest.com.



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