Mount Gilead downtown streets were filled to overflowing with crowds on both Friday night and all day Saturday for the Sweet Corn Festival. People came to check out the vintage cars, enjoy a chicken dinner, or watch the Strong Man contest despite heavy humidity Friday and muggy heat on Saturday.
54 vintage cars came in for the 6th Annual Chamber Car show Friday evening. Showers poured down all day until about 3 p.m. on Friday and Chamber Director Cathy Francis was concerned that the weather would keep people away. The rain held off for the evening and heat and humidity didn’t discourage car enthusiasts who came out in record numbers.
Special guests at Friday night’s car show were Angel Wheels Auto Club members. They’re a group of men who came together more than 50 years ago due to their love of automobiles. One of Angel Wheels original members, Marion Newman received both the “Ladies Choice” trophy and a “Favorite Four” trophy.
Newman formerly worked at the Marathon Station that was on North Main St. in Mount Gilead and now lives in Bowling Green, Ohio where he owned a Marathon Station there.
While judges were choosing the car trophy winners, the Sweet Corn Princess and Queen Contestants were performing the talent portion of the pageant. They danced, sang and played the piano at Seniors on Center for a crowd with standing room only.
Bryna Chandler sang and was chosen Sweet Corn Queen by the judges. Camri Bartlett performed a graceful freestyle dance and was named Junior Princess. Emily Hanft twirled baton for her talent and won the Princess title.
Corn shuckers gathered for the Corn Shucking contest at 6:30 while people strolled along Main Street looking at cars and stopping in at businesses or enjoying the Pork BBQ Dinner served by Cornerstone Restaurant.
The Knights of Columbus Beer Garden was open throughout the evening while the band Parental Guidance entertained on the main stage. Main Stage Sponsors for the weekend were Lubrication Specialties, Inc. (LSI), Morrow County Hospital and Marion Technical College.
Seniors on Center served a Pancake Breakfast Saturday morning while the Morrow County Community Center held a rowing contest. “Kids and Critters Parade lined up on Center Street and the Junior Pedal Tractor Pull was held at 10 a.m.
The new Morrow County Historical Museum on the Square was open all weekend and provided guided tours. The Rum Rill Pottery Room has been completed with charming displays of the pottery made in Mount Gilead from the 1800’s through 1941.
Saturday afternoon entertainment continued with Mount Gilead Cheerleaders, The Douce Dance Studio, a Tai Chi demonstration with Morrow County Community Center instructors and and many vendors on Main St. Maria Castricone of Buckeye Training and Fitness Academy said that the Strong Man and Woman Contest has grown every year since they started sponsoring it three years ago. This is the first year for the kids’ contest, which was very popular.
The Corn Eating contest closed the festival activities Saturday and Steel Creek Band wrapped up the evening with many favorite tunes. See a short video of the corn eating contest here.
Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel and can be reached at [email protected]