Corn and so much more

August 27, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - Roy Diehl said there will probably be butter and salt on hand for the Shippensburg Corn Festival's first corn-on-the-cob eating contest this Saturday.

But the contest chairman doubts any of the contestants will take the time to use them.

If they want to win, they will have to eat the most ears in 4 minutes. The best strategy in Diehl's opinion is to forgo the salt and butter and start sinking your teeth into the juicy kernels. The only decision then is whether to attack those cobs typewriter-style (side to side) or lathe-style (eating around the cob before moving down it).

Only the first eight people to sign up for the contest Saturday will get to participate, but there will be plenty of other things to occupy the anticipated crowd of thousands.

Last year's festival had good weather, drawing an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 visitors, said Ortrun Gates, festival president. Gates is hoping this year's festival will attract even more people.


The festival sold out its 247 arts and crafts booth spaces. About 450 applications were submitted, Gates said.

Entertainment includes music, dance demonstrations, an antique car show, and children's activities such as face painting, balloon art, a clown, storytelling and a puppet theater. The children's art contest, started last year, will return this year.

Also returning this year will be Hub City Lindy Hop members who demonstrated their skills and taught visitors how to swing dance. They will provide lessons.

New this year, in addition to the corn-eating contest, are performances by the bluegrass band Voxology and a hang-drum performance by Janet Spahr of Carlisle, Pa. The hang drum resembles two woks, one upside down atop the other, that resonate when tapped by hands and fingers.

But the festival is named for corn and there will be plenty of corn dishes to taste - roasted corn on the cob, corn fritters, corn dogs, corn-dog nuggets, chicken-corn soup, turkey-corn-noodle soup, corn chips, tortilla chips and kettle-corn popcorn.

If you go...

WHAT: Shippensburg Corn Festival

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. Rain or shine.

WHERE: Downtown Shippensburg, Pa. About seven blocks along King Street, from Spring Street to Prince Street.

COST: Free admission

PARKING:  Park at Shippensburg Fairgrounds (Exit 24, Fayette Street exit, from Interstate 81). Free shuttle to event.

CONTACT: For more information, go to or call Ortrun Gates at 717-532-5331 or Earl Parshall at 717-532-5634.

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