Corn, Cars and Contests


Community turns out for 11th annual Sweet Corn Festival

By Anthony Conchel - and Alberta Stojkovic - The Sentinel



Elias Bulkowski eats an ear Friday night during the Sweet Corn Festival.


Abigail Steensland competes in the bubble gum blowing contest during the Sweet Corn Festival.


The 2017 Sweet Corn royalty, from left, are Princess Jillian West-Johnston; Junior Princess Ryleigh Willis and Queen Caitlyn Yeater.


Jackie Lancaster was a busy woman on Friday night.

The Cardington mother is part of The Mom Group, which had a booth at the 11th annual Morrow County Sweet Corn Festival in downtown Mount Gilead last weekend.

Abram, 5, and Hudson, 1, accompanied their mother, the younger one in a stroller.

“It’s a ministry and for any moms in the area. It’s a Christian-based support group,” Jackie said.

The first night was devoted to non-profit groups.

“Tonight is new for us. We are doing Friday night trying to showcase the non-profits in our county — mental health, food pantry, the health department,” said LeAnne Gompf, vice chair of the Morrow County Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re just trying to make our community more aware of what public services are available to volunteer or support their efforts,” Gompf said.

All food sold Friday night was done by non-profit groups. It featured a 1950s theme, with a car show, hula hoop and twist contests. A record crowd turned out.

The local EMS prepared barbecue chicken. Bob McElroy Realty donated its time to help out.

Participants in the Sweetcorn Pageant included Junior Princess contestants Lola Woodeki, Abigail Williams, Katelynn Frost, Ryleigh Willis, Josie Smith and Destiny Lister. Princess contestants were Jillian West-Johnston, Emma Smith and Addison Vantilburg. Vying for Queen were Briana Zeger and Caitlyn Yeater.

Cathy Francis, one of the four judges, said they had a difficult decision as all the contestants did well and had great poise. The final choice was Caitlyn Yeater for Queen, Jillian West-Johnston for Princess and Ryleigh Willis as Junior Princess.

Friday evening closed with dancing by the main stage with the band Parental Guidance.

A major storm blew in early Saturday morning that put a damper on some activities. The 5 K Run was postponed until next Saturday due to the lightning and thunder.

When the skies cleared, music lovers listened to the Whetstone Copy Cats.

“My sister (Shelly Thompson) is singing,” said Linda Lyerla. “We come and are very involved with Whetstone. It’s a great program.

Linda and her husband Dick called the festival “wonderful. We enjoy all of it.”

Other families came simply to eat corn.

Elias and Max Bulkowski each devoured an ear.

“We come every year, mainly for the corn and the community,” said the boys’ mom, Kristi Bulkowski. “We know a good deal of the people who are here.”

When asked if the corn tasted good, Elias, 8, just nodded affirmative refusing to stop munching.

Kristi noted Elias’ missing front teeth may have aided his efforts.

Morrow County Chamber of Commerce Director Shelley Planey thanked the sponsors that included Consolidated Electric, Howard Hanna RealCom, Legend Records and Morrow County Hospital on the Main Stage. Morrow County Dental sponsored the Pageant and Hot Shots Secret sponsored the Car Dash Plaques. Tent and tables sponsors were: Ag Credit, Century 21 Bob McElroy, Kahrl & Company Ins, Mike Graham Insurance, Morrow Family Health and Verne Hart Insurance.

5 K sponsors were: Sage Chiropractic, Morrow County Hospital, Lubrication Specialties. Inc, Griffith & Brininger, Allen Stojkovic, Morrow Family Health Center, Gardens & Gifts, Grill & Chill, Hoffman Office Center, Drug Mart, Health Source Chiropractic, Morrow County Dental, Verne Hart Insurance and Whiston’s Pharmacy.

Sweetcorn trophies were sponsored by: Clark Seed, Embroidery Warehouse, Farm Credit Mid America, Gompf Funeral Services, Maceyko Tax, McCreary’s Auto, Morrow County Farm Bureau, Morrow County Pork Producers, Mount Gilead Merchants Assoc., Remax Genesis and Southern Title of Ohio, Ltd.

Elias Bulkowski eats an ear Friday night during the Sweet Corn Festival.
http://morrowcountysentinel.aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2017/07/web1_Elias.jpgElias Bulkowski eats an ear Friday night during the Sweet Corn Festival.

Abigail Steensland competes in the bubble gum blowing contest during the Sweet Corn Festival.
http://morrowcountysentinel.aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2017/07/web1_Bubble-Gum.jpgAbigail Steensland competes in the bubble gum blowing contest during the Sweet Corn Festival.

The 2017 Sweet Corn royalty, from left, are Princess Jillian West-Johnston; Junior Princess Ryleigh Willis and Queen Caitlyn Yeater.
http://morrowcountysentinel.aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2017/07/web1_DSCN1815-2-.jpgThe 2017 Sweet Corn royalty, from left, are Princess Jillian West-Johnston; Junior Princess Ryleigh Willis and Queen Caitlyn Yeater.
Community turns out for 11th annual Sweet Corn Festival

By Anthony Conchel

and Alberta Stojkovic

The Sentinel