LODI — Heat and humidity put a damper on Thursday’s kickoff of this year’s Sweet Corn Festival.
Attendance was down and several registered participants did not show up for the parade, said Melody Miller, executive director of the Lodi Regional Chamber of Commerce and a Village Council member.
“It wasn’t as successful as it has been in the past on that night and I think that was because of the heat,” Miller said.
Miller said she was counting on more people coming out for Friday night’s fireworks.
“The fireworks are usually big draw,” she said.
She said the corn events Friday and tonight’s raffle also are big draws. This year’s raffle offers $1,000 and $500 prizes for first and second place as well as gift cards and gift baskets.
Fair coordinator Yvonne Sivard agreed the heat was a “huge issue.”
“People were here, but they just got their food and left to get back to their air conditioning.”
Sivard said those who left missed out.
“We had young lady (Jennie Geissman) who sang a beautiful, beautiful version of the national anthem, and we had tumblers from Cheer for Life, and people were having fun with karaoke,” she said. “It was a great night — just a little light as far as foot traffic.”
Miller and Sivard said they are hoping for cooler weather for the rest of the festival, which ends today. The weather forecast calls for a high of 84 and perhaps a thunderstorm.
Miller said bad weather of a different sort earlier this year proved costly.
She said the chamber spent $700 for 240 dozen ears of corn from Long Shot Farms in Avon.
Miller said the festival usually gets most of the corn for the festival donated by Hall Growers in Lodi. But freezing weather early in the growing season ruined the farm’s first plantings.
“It’ll affect our profits for sure,” she said. “Plus, I think people like to have it from nearby.”
She added: “Maybe I’m biased but I agree. I think it’s (Hall Growers) the best corn there is.”
Sivard said Long Shot Farms was referred by Hall Growers.
“It’s fresh-picked every day, and I know it’s not Lodi corn but it is Ohio corn,” she said.
Today features the 5K run at 8 a.m. at the old Lodi Elementary School; adult cornhole team and singles tournaments with cash prizes; Radio Disney broadcasting live from the festival at 2 p.m.; and the band Buckshot on the stage at 6 p.m.
Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.