Corn Festival returns this weekend


WILMINGTON —The Antique Power Club is gearing up for a lively community event that celebrates farming heritage, family joy, and a tapestry of culinary delights. The highly-anticipated 45th-annual Clinton County Corn Festival is set for this Friday-Sunday at the Clinton County Fairgrounds.

One of the many highlights includes the festival’s Saturday parade downtown at 10 a.m., adding an extra layer of excitement to the festivities. Participation in the parade is open to all; simply gather at the racetrack area before 10 a.m., accessible from the fairgrounds, and join in at the racetrack and become a part of the memorable event.

A Peek into the Festival:

Since 1977, the Antique Power Club has shaped the beloved Clinton County Corn Festival. Held annually after Labor Day, the fairgrounds in Wilmington buzzes with activities for all ages. Antique Power Club member Jonathan McKay said, “Make sure to take it all in and go into all the buildings, take in the whole festival. Don’t go just for the food, it has a lot more to offer, from quilts, flea markets, antique buildings, craft vendors, contests, to farm equipment.”

A Burst of Activities:

From foodies and craft enthusiasts to music lovers and community seekers, the Clinton County Corn Festival offers an array of delights:

Quilt Demonstrations: The Quilt Barn showcases ongoing quilt displays, this year’s theme “My Pile of Scraps” highlighting creativity.

Meet the Queen Bee: Visit the Bee Hive behind the 4-H Building to learn about bees’ role in the ecosystem.

Honey Tasting: Enjoy Wayne Wilkin’s Backyard Bees Honey Tasting near the CF Office for a flavorful journey.

Kiddie Train Rides: Whimsical rides for all ages offer a festival tour.

Unique Games and Competitions: From skillet tosses to saw challenges, nostalgia meets friendly rivalry.

Petting Zoo and Children’s Corner: A family focus includes an animal encounter and kid-friendly activities.

Continuous Entertainment: The sound stage hosts live music and entertainment throughout the festival.

Savoring the Flavors:

The Wilmington Corn Festival is an event that caters to appetites with a variety of homemade treats from local non-profit food vendors. From corn on the cob to ice cream, attendees can indulge in diverse offerings. Among the favorites listed by McKay are Grannies Homemade Noodles, Quakers Bakers, Chester’s Friends Ice Cream, and the irresistible apple dumplings.

It’s worth noting that all the offerings are sourced locally, and the festival does not have commercial vendors, as emphasized by McKay.

Friday Event Schedule:

-11 a.m.: Gates Open

-12 p.m.: Noon whistle/Opening ceremonies

– 12:30 p.m.: Belt-Up Contest

– 1:30 p.m.: Working Sawmill with Steam Engine

– 2 p.m.: Sawmill In Action

– 4 p.m.: Fairbanks-Morse Engines, Fires Up, Rock Crushing, and Bingo

– 4-8 p.m.: Cruise-In – 2 Free Admissions Per Vehicle

-4:45 p.m.: Antique Tractor Pulls Sign Up and Weigh In

-5 p.m.: Pulls Begin/Beehive Basic Q & A

-5:30 p.m.: King and Queen Crowing

-6 p.m.: Petting Zoo opens/Children’s games

-6:30 p.m.: Discussion about frontiersmen

-7 p.m.: Weapons firing with a history account of the 48th Co.C OVI Regiment

-8 p.m.: Fairbanks-Morse Engine, Last Fire Up of the Day, Dusk Steam Engine Spark Show.

The schedule for the entire weekend will be inserted into Saturday’s News Journal.

New Additions to the Festival: British Engine Unveiled

This year brings a historical touch with a 17-horsepower British engine from 1905-1910 that is sure to be intriguing to visitors. The event will also feature Massey tractors.

Weaving Community Threads:

The festival’s core lies in supporting the community through scholarships and donations generated from the proceeds. The club intends to grant five scholarships annually: one to a graduate from each of East Clinton, Clinton-Massie, Wilmington, and Blanchester high schools, and the fifth to an eligible Antique Power Club member, their family, or descendant who graduated from a non-Clinton County high school.

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