Urbana Sweetcorn, Sangamon River Festivals This Weekend
By Jeff Bossert
Urbana’s 37th annual Sweetcorn Festival gets under way Friday evening downtown.
Highlights include a diverse list of food vendors, craft merchants, and performances from local and nationally-known bands, including rock artists Firehouse and Warrant Saturday night.
Urbana Business Association Events Coordinator Shannon Beck says there are continued incentives to cut down on downtown traffic, including ‘cornbucks’ from Champaign County Bikes for those who pedal their way in, and park in the covered bike parking.
"People have easy access when they ride in their bicycles," she said. "It's a more environmentally friendly way of getting to the festival. So it's not new, but each year we try to focus on the environmental concerns of the festival."
Beck says this year’s corn is locally grown, from Maddox Farms of nearby Warrensberg. Corn sales will cut off at 9 p.m. both evenings.
The festival runs from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. But Urbana isn’t the only community with food and entertainment this weekend.
It’s the 15th annual Sangamon River Festival in downtown Mahomet Friday and Saturday.
Festival Chairman Dave Parsons says the city has held some kind of festival as far back as 1910. And he doesn’t feel that he’s competing with Urbana's festival, with different music genres, a duck race, and carnival rides.
"We like to consider ourselves a downtown festival," he said. "Although we bring in some talent in music, we have carnival rides, we have a food court, we have a street fest, and different vendors. We try to bring in a different atmosphere than Urbana, so we're not competing."
Musicians include gospel artists The Sidewalk Prophets and country artists the Feudin’ Hillbillys.
Activities get underway at p.m. Friday in Mahomet. They’ll run until 11 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.