The sweetest celebration of summer takes place this Saturday in Olathe.
It's time for the annual Olathe Sweet™ Sweet Corn Festival, an extravaganza of music, games and all-you-can-eat sweet corn fresh from the fields surrounding Olathe.
This year marks the festival's 25th anniversary.
In 1992, a few folks decided to celebrate the community's agricultural jewel "Olathe Sweet" sweet corn by organizing the first Olathe Sweet Corn Festival. John Harold partnered with the Olathe Town Board and the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival tradition began. This hometown crop was and continues to be more than just another of the many agriculture products of the region. Sweet corn is the crop that kept this rural American community alive when other efforts were failing.
From its earliest beginnings, the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival has been about people. The "Olathe Sweet" Sweet Corn grown in Olathe, and donated to the festival by Tuxedo Corn, was a way of bringing people together and providing them with a sense of community and accomplishment. From its inception, the festival has been to give local nonprofit groups the opportunity to earn additional operating revenues by taking on various event jobs and vendor responsibilities.
With the festival growing beyond the town's ability to accommodate, the festival's board of directors determined a dedicated site was necessary. With help from the Town of Olathe, Great Outdoors Colorado, the Montrose Economic Development Council and other friends of the festival, 37 acres for the multi-use was purchased in 1996. Development began immediately and the Olathe Community Park was born.
On Saturday, Aug. 6, the park will be filled with arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, kids' games and a huge stage where the corn and corn dog eating contests take place. A dance contest is also planned.
This year's event also includes a beer and wine garden featuring beer and wine made from local ingredients.
There will be musical entertainment throughout the day, leading up to performances by Suckafish, a rock band out of Grand Junction; Tyller Gummersall; and headliner James Otto.
Suckafish is a three-piece cover band that plays rock, reggae/ska and other genres.
Tyller Gummersall is a Colorado native who won his first singing contest at the age of 8 when he sang Hank Williams' "Hey Good Lookin' " at his hometown county fair talent contest in Durango. He's been pumping out albums and touring since 2010, but is sure to feel right at home on the stage in Olathe.
James Otto is transforming today's country music with his bluesy, muscular voice and dynamic stage presence. After stepping away to focus on family and pour his life into a new season of songwriting, he's returned to recording with an infectious new single, "Somewhere Tonight," that reveals a renewed commitment to creating his own unique brand of country music.
Start your day early with the Olathe Donut Dash 5k to benefit the Olathe High School cross-country team. Starting time is 7:30 a.m. Pre-register for $30, and get a ticket to the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival as an added bonus. Day-of registration is $30 for the race only.
At the Bank of Colorado, a pancake breakfast will be served from 6 to 10 a.m. A suggested donation of $3 for kids and $5 for adults will benefit Sharing Ministries Food Bank.
Tickets to the corn festival are $10 each for adults, or $30 for a family pack (two adults and four kids).