Sweet Corn Festival Weathers the Drought

By Nadia Crow, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - With much of the Midwest under a severe drought, all eyes are on corn yields.

Luckily, for one weekend festival, its 25,000 ears of corn got just enough rain just in time. Organizers for the 37th annual Saint Jude Sweet Corn Festival feared there wouldn't be any of the Iowa staple to keep up with the growing demand.

"It's the best. There's really no corn around that matches up to it," said Festival Chairperson Becky Miller.

Thousands lined up over the weekend for their chance to bite into some tasty Iowa sweet corn. On Saturday alone, the festival saw two thousand more people than they normally serve. But this success was all in jeopardy.

"I called him several times he was probably sick of hearing from me," said Cooking Committee Co-Chair Pat Gardner.

Cooking Committee Co-Chair Pat Gardner says they get their corn from an Oelwein farmer. And he assured Saint Jude staff, they'd get their corn.

"He's lucky to not have real sandy soil. Therefore the drought didn't affect him so much. Sandy soil dries out quicker," said Gardner.

Saint Jude got all three acres worth of corn they hoped for. Some of the best Gardner says they've had in years.

The much anticipated corn arrived just as cooler temperatures swept across Eastern Iowa.

"The heat broke right before the festival. I think our crowds here are up because this was the first weekend with nice weather and people were ready to get out and have some fun," said Miller.

In its 37th year, weather caused some anxiety and yet helped usher in the masses.
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