Cloudy skies and a fierce, but brief, rain wasn't nearly enough to keep Vienna resident Sam Church from crossing the river to attend the annual Marietta Sweet Corn Festival.
"I love the sweet corn," Church, 51, laughed.
Held annually to benefit the restoration of the armory in Marietta, the Sweet Corn Festival kicked off Friday evening under cloudy skies in Muskingum Park.
Sweet Corn Festival in Marietta
This year was the first time the event has been held in the park, as it usually is hosted on the lawn in front of the former Ohio National Guard armory, just across the street from the park. The decision was made to move the festival this year due to expected construction work to begin the armory renovation project, event officials said.
While construction work hasn't begun on the armory project, many people in attendance Friday appreciated the change of venue.
"I like it better in the park than over there," said Sarah Cooper, 24, of Marietta, who brought her best friend's little girl to the festival.
KEVIN PIERSON The Marietta Times
Vienna residents Sam Church, right, and Alan Parks, left, enjoy an ear of sweet corn during the annual Marietta Sweet Corn Festival in Muskingum Park Friday evening. The festival concludes Saturday.
Cooper said she appreciated the greater space in the park and the fact that Front Street did not have to be closed, which is done when the event is hosted at the armory.
Last year more than 4,600 ears of corn were sold during the festival. Witten Farm Market, out of Lowell, donates all the corn for the event.
Brenda Frazier, 50, of Marietta, brought several of her kids and grandkids to the park for the Sweet Corn Festival. All told, 10 members of the family and their dog were gathered in the park relishing everything from the corn to the games for children.
If you go
- What: Marietta Sweet Corn Festival
- When: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday
- Where: Muskingum Park in Marietta
- Cost: Sweet corn is $1 an ear, entertainment and games are free
11:30 a.m. - Magician Tricky Chaz
1:30 p.m. - Scholarship presentation
2 p.m. - Cartoonist J.D. Williamson
3 p.m. - High Schools that Rock
4 to 5 p.m. - Break for wedding
5 p.m. - Marietta High School Premiere show choir
6 p.m. - The Price Family
Ice cream social
What: 29th annual Broughton Ice Cream Social
When: 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: Washington County Fairgrounds
Cost: $4 day of the social
Beneficiary: Right Path for Washington County; Washington County food pantries
"The food was good and the kids are having fun," Frazier said. "It's a good community thing."
A brief rainstorm that moved through the area at the start of festivities slowed attendance down, but by the time that Marietta city councilman Michael Mullen and his band were done singing a crowd several hundred strong had gathered.
"It (rain) kind of slowed us down, but the eating tents are filling up," said Jessie Bigley, president of the Sweet Corn Festival committee.
The annual festival kicked off Friday, and concludes Saturday with additional musical entertainment and games for children.
Children can ride on the carousel and there will even be pedal tractor pulls at 3 and 5 p.m.
Corn hole will also be setup, weather permitting, as the rain canceled Friday's toss.
Along with all the sweet corn for just $1, corn meal was also for sale this year, with some of it being made on site.
Saturday's entertainment will begin at 11:30 a.m. with magician Tricky Chaz while Williamstown cartoonist J.D. Williamson will be on scene at 2 p.m. Musical entertainment begins at 3 p.m. with High Schools that Rock followed by Marietta High School's Premiere at 5 p.m.
A break in the schedule is included in this year's Sweet Corn Festival as the change in venue to Muskingum Park has resulted in one unorthodox delay - a wedding. In respect to the bride and groom, festivities will be shut down from 4 to 5 p.m.
The Price Family concludes the day's entertainment at 6 p.m. and the sweet corn will continue to be sold until 8:30 p.m.
"People love the sweet corn," Bigley said. "We grow the best sweet corn in Ohio in this area and they love it."