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SHIPPENSBURG - The 36th annual Shippensburg Corn Festival is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, August 27, rain or shine, in downtown Shippensburg.

The popular last-Saturday-in August street fair typically attracts shoulder-to shoulder crowds, with attendance topping 30,000 visitors.

King Street, Shippensburg’s main thoroughfare, becomes a bazaar for a day featuring about 250 craft and food vendors, free entertainment at three venues, children’s activities, crafts demonstrations, an antique car show and a challenging corn eating contest with special musical accompaniment.

Entertainment, ongoing throughout the day, includes Caribbean rhythms by Nancy and Jody, beer-garden melodies from the Shippensburg German Band and country favorites as well as original numbers by Mid Life Cowboys -- including a jaunty Mid Life Cowboy composition prepared especially for the corn eating contest.

How many ears?

The popular contest challenges a dozen or more competitors to put away the most ears in three minutes, with Corn Festival spotters monitoring to ensure most kernels have been removed. It's not too late to sign up to compete - contest seats are filled until about 11 a.m. on the day of the festival.

Kids activities continue throughout the day, with a special afternoon appearance by magician David Wayne and Balloon Lady. Corny the Scarecrow, mascot of the Corn Festival, is expected to show up in the crowd, encouraging visitors to "have a corny day" and posing for snapshots and selfies.

What's for lunch

Food is the focus for many Corn Festival visitors, and this year's selections range from chicken corn soup and homemade pies under the picnic tent of Shippensburg's Messiah United Methodist Church -- a tradition as old as the festival itself -- to soul food, MIddle Eastern specialities, Asian food and barbecue.

Crafters who sell at the Corn Festival have been vetted by the Corn Fesitval Committee in order to provide a range of handmade, affordable options for shoppers. Crafts sold at the Corn Festival must be produced by the vendor; commercial products are not accepted.

Giving back

The Shippensburg Corn Festival is run by an all-volunteer committee that works year-round and is assisted on festival day by an army of additional volunteers. Profits from the Corn Festival are returned to the Shippensburg community for historic preservation and downtown beautification. In its 36-year history, the Corn Festival has donated nearly $350,000 to Shippensburg for period street lighting, restoration of the historic Dykeman Spring Hatch House and the town Gazebo, which is now an entertainment venue at the festival, and, most recently, for the pocket park at the Shippensburg Senior Center and the Shippensburg Public Library's capital campaign.

Admission to the festival is free. There is parking for a fee at the Shippensburg Fairgrounds (off Exit 24 of Interstate 81)  with free shuttle service to the festival. Pets are not allowed in the festival area.

For more information, including complete lists of the vendors who will attend and their wares, visit shippensburgcornfestival.net.

Here’s a listing of the entertainment, demonstrators and kids’ activities lined up for the 2016 Corn Festival.

MAIN STAGE

  • 7:50 a.m.: Boy Scouts Color Guard
  • 7:55 a.m.: Girl Scouts singing The National Anthem
  • 8 – 9 a.m.:Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers  (dance)
  • 9:15-10:15  a.m.:Hemlock Hollow  (folk)
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Cameron Molloy Band & Laurie Matlock (country)
  • 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.:Mid Life Cowboys  (country) – CORN EATING CONTEST
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.:Next To Nothing  (Christian rock)
  • 2:45 – 4 p.m.: Yesterdays Vibe  (rock)

GAZEBO

  • 7:45 – 9 a.m.:Island Fusion   (island music)
  • 9:15 – 10:30 a.m.:Jay Smar  (folk)
  • 10:45 a.m. – noon: Shanna Rae  (pop/ country)
  • 12:15 – 1:30 p.m.:James Mack (classic rock)
  • 1:45 – 3 p.m.:Ray Owens (mix)
  • 3-4 p.m.: Cole Souders   (saxophone)

FOGELSANGER-BRICKER ALLEY

  • 9 -10 a.m.: Shippensburg Blaskapelle  (German music)
  • 11 a.m.-noon: Shippensburg Community Band  (patriotic, variety)
  • 1-2 p.m.: Shippensburg Swing Band (swing)

STROLLING

  • 10  a.m.:Shippensburg University Marching Band

TOWNE CLEANERS PARKING LOT

ALL DAY:

  • The Queens Lace -Lace Making
  • Lucky Treasures & Triple Mine-Pannin’ for Gemstones
  • Robotic Group- Robotics
  • South Cumberland Fiber Guild- spinning
  • FFA-Farmer for a Day
  • Wesley VanScyoc – chair caning
  • Dance Academy -cheerleaders/dancers
  • Children crafters

1-3 p.m.: Magic of David Wayne & Balloon Lady (magic & balloons)

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