MENDOTA – The 67th annual Mendota Sweet Corn Festival begins at 6 p.m. today downtown with “Family Night,” offering discounted carnival ride tickets.
The festival runs through Sunday and features free entertainment, including a karaoke contest, magicians, balloon twisters, professional face painters, a carnival and more.
The festival opens at 11 a.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The beer garden, which will feature live music, will be open until midnight Friday and Saturday. Snap Shot, a 70s and 80s cover band, will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and Sugar High, a Chicago-area rock party dance band, will play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Festival Queen Pageant will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Mini Royalty Pageant will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
The Crafters Marketplace and Flea Market is set for 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Veterans Park downtown, and the Elks Club parking lot on Indiana Avenue and Jefferson Street.
Lydia Hill will perform at 11:30 a.m. Saturday on the First State Bank Stage. Written Warning will play from 3 to 5 p.m., Dallas Stamberger and Hit N Miss will play from 5 to 7 p.m., and The Sting Rays will play from 7 to 9 p.m.
The festival’s food contest is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Mendota Elks Lodge, 707 Indiana Ave.
The parade will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, and free Del Monte sweet corn will be offered at 2 p.m. downtown at the intersection of Illinois Avenue and Jefferson Street.
The festival will conclude with the sweet corn eating contest at 4:30 p.m. The event is open to those ages 12 and under. Registration, open to the first 25, begins at 3:30 p.m. behind the steam engine at the corn serving area. An mp3 player will be awarded to the winner.
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit sweetcornfestival.com or call 815-539-6507.