LODI — The 2013 Lodi Sweet Corn Festival kicks off today with some classic events, some new exciting features and the return of an old favorite.
The 32nd annual installment of the festival celebrates the local sweet corn harvest and the community.
The festival will be on Wooster Street at Letha House Field, directly across from Lodi Library, 635 Wooster St., today through Saturday.
The midway opens 4 p.m. today with games, rides and food.
At 6 p.m., cornhole registration for boys and girls ages 5 to 15 and adults will be at the Lodi Regional Chamber office. The entry fee is required at time of registration: $5 for kids, $15 for adult singles and $25 for adult teams. Cash prizes will be awarded.
Opening ceremonies for the festival will be 6:15 p.m. on the village square, followed by the parade at 6:30 p.m.
This year’s theme is “Superheroes on Parade.”
“Our parade is probably going to be the most exciting thing this year,” festival coordinator Yvonne Sivard said. “We have a lot of interest in dressing up in costumes, and not only the Marvel and DC Comics heroes but also everyday heroes.”
Sivard said many children will be dressed up like loved ones who serve in the police or fire departments or U.S. armed forces.
“We’re expecting quite a lot of that actually,” she said.
The line-up begins at 5:30 p.m. on Railroad Street.
New to the festival this year is the Radio Disney Road Crew, which will broadcast live from the festival beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The 2013 Chevrolet Street Teams display will offer a chance to win a family trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, including a ride on Test Track presented by Chevrolet at Epcot Center. The Disney-Chevrolet display will feature kids’ events and old-time games.
Live entertainment will be featured on stage all three days, starting with Digital DJ and Karaoke at 7 tonight.
The band “Pilgrim” takes the stage at 7 p.m. Friday and “Buckshot” at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Samurai Balloon Guy will perform every day for balloon fun. The Westfield Fire and Rescue Squad will hold a root beer float sale as a fundraiser at 6 p.m. Friday and Lodi Fire and Rescue will host a chicken barbecue at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Friday is the big day to enjoy the reason for holding the festival — sweet corn. Corn games begin at 8 p.m., with eating and husking contests and the corn stalk javelin toss. There’s a $1 entry fee for each event.
At 9 p.m., an old favorite is back. Festival-goers will bring their four-member teams to the Tug-of-War.
At 10 p.m., Mad Bomber Fireworks will light up the sky over the midway.
On Saturday, the 5K Run begins at 8 a.m. at the old Lodi Elementary School, 301 Mill St.
The $25 registration fee is due on arrival. All proceeds benefit the Cloverleaf Cross Country and the Colt Pack CC Scholarship Fund. A free 1K Fun Run will start at 8:15 a.m.
The festival closes at 10 p.m. with the raffle, featuring a $1,000 grand prize and $500 second place.
Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or email@example.com.